From – FierceHomelandSecurity
October 24, 2013 | By Zach Rausnitz

As if being groped and berated at airport security by the overpaid Federal mall-cops that we know as TSA, we find out that that many of the agency’s bloated staff is paid more than most professionals, including staff physicians, engineers, accountants and teachers, for doing work that could readily performed by lower level staff.

A recent OIG report is critical of TSA for these wasteful practices, but as with past investigations we can rest assured that absolutely nothing will be done to correct this abuse of the public trust.

Criminal investigators at the Transportation Security Administration received lucrative pay while often doing the work of lower-level, less costly employees.

In TSA’s Office of Inspection, which does covert testing and internal reviews within the agency, employees classified as “criminal investigators” received premium pay and benefits, because TSA considers them law enforcement officers. But a Homeland Security Department office of inspector general report (.pdf) says they mostly did work that lower-paid employees in the same office could have done.

The OIG report, dated Sept. 24, says 97 percent of criminal investigators at the Office of Inspection received availability pay during the period of its audit, which covered fiscal 2010 through the first quarter of fiscal 2012.

But the majority of the workload for the criminal investigators involved noncriminal cases, conducting internal reviews, carrying out covert tests, and reporting on criminal cases.

In fiscal 2011, the median pay for criminal investigators at TSA’s Office of Inspection was about $162,000, compared to about $118,000 for the office’s transportation security specialists. At the time, the office had 124 criminal investigators and 35 transportation security specialists.

The report says TSA hasn’t demonstrated a need to have so many criminal investigators. The specialists can supervise and perform inspections, investigations and covert tests, it says.

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