Office of National Risk Assessment

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According to its Director, Ben H. Bell III, the Transportation Security Administration's Office of National Risk Assessment (ONRA) "mission is to develop and maintain risk assessment systems to detect known terrorists and other legislatively assigned programs. This office will apply risk assessment processes and systems to all forms of transportation."[1]

Hill, formerly "led the Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force at the Department of Justice."

ONRA manages CAPPS II, which is the successor to the Computer Assisted Passenger PreScreening System II. "CAPPS I is operated by the airlines using information provided by the Federal Government. The system was designed for threats prior to September 11, 2001. The new threat environment requires an enhanced layered security approach. CAPPS II is one portion of a new layered security approach."[2]

"ONRA has assembled a team of information privacy, policy, and industry domain experts to support the development and deployment of this program. ... To that end [it is] ... planning to conduct the following activities:

  • Dissemination of public information about what to expect and how to get questions answered concerning the CAPPS II program;
  • CAPPS II briefings for officials and opinion leaders;
  • Meetings with the privacy and public interest community experts;
  • Congressional reports on the performance of the pre-screening process enabled through CAPPS II; and
  • The appointment of an Ombudsman (appointed by the TSA) "to handle any inquiries."

Notice to Amend a System of Records, Office of the Secretary, Department of Transportation, January 15, 2003.

Re Privacy Act of 1974:

  • System of Records: "System Name: Aviation Security Screening Records.
  • System Location: Records are maintained at the Office of National Risk Assessment, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), 400 7th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590.
  • Categories of Individuals Covered by the System: Individuals traveling to, from, or within the United States (U.S.) by passenger air transportation; individuals who are deemed to pose a possible risk to transportation or national security, a possible risk of air piracy or terrorism, or a potential threat to airline or passenger safety, aviation safety, civil aviation, or national security.
  • Categories of Records in the System: Passenger Name Records (PNRs) and associated data; reservation and manifest information of passenger carriers and, in the case of individuals who are deemed to pose a possible risk to transportation security, record categories may include: risk assessment reports; financial and transactional data; public source information; proprietary data; and information from law enforcement and intelligence sources.
  • Authority for Maintenance of the System: 49 U.S.C. 114, 44901, and 44903. *Purpose(s): The system will be used to facilitate the conduct of an aviation security-screening program, including risk assessments to ensure aviation security.

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