GAO: Benefits of full-body scanners may not justify cost

03/18/2010 | Washington Post (tiered subscription model), The

The Obama administration plans to spend $300 million in its push to install 1,800 full-body scanners in U.S. airports by 2014. But the Government Accountability Office estimated on Wednesday that personnel costs over eight years would run about $2.4 billion, because three TSA officers are needed to run each machine. And despite the high cost, the GAO said there is no guarantee that advanced imaging technology, or AIT, could have detected the 80 grams of explosive allegedly sewn into the underwear of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on Christmas Day. A Government Accountability Office official told the House Homeland Security Committee that a new cost-benefit analysis should be conducted prior to widespread deployment of the scanners.

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