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Promoting Transparency in Government Through TSA’s FOIA Process

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Aeron Pineiro, FOIA Branch Operations Manager, is dedicated to enhancing TSA’s reputation through the FOIA process. Photo by Meagan DarcusAeron Pineiro is the Operations Manager in TSA’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Branch.  Pineiro’s work before joining TSA in 2011 included serving as a Cryptologic Linguist in the U.S. Air Force, conducting automatic declassification reviews of documents for the Defense Intelligence Agency, and processing FOIA requests in the Office of the Secretary of Defense/Joint Staff. Transitioning from DOD to DHS has given Pineiro an opportunity to apply her skills and background to expertly address the FOIA requests TSA receives.

In her current position, Pineiro helps manage a team responsible for processing every FOIA request submitted to TSA. Her team works with employees and program offices in TSA to provide timely FOIA responses to the American public. Their dedication guarantees that TSA is in line with the current Administration’s policies on transparency in government.

What I do matters because TSA’s FOIA Branch plays a key role in supporting the TSA mission by facilitating the compilation, review and release of records. As Operations Manager, I have two primary responsibilities. The first is to make sure TSA releases materials as required by the FOIA, and the second is to ensure no sensitive information is released which would harm the mission of TSA, while ensuring FOIA requests are processed as efficiently and effectively as possible.  My team and I work closely with the TSA FOIA Officer to ensure we are responsive to the public and that TSA complies with the Freedom of Information Act.

The most challenging thing about my job is being able to switch gears at a moment’s notice to address any and all issues I face on a daily basis, some of which are quite complex. There are a number of moving parts when addressing FOIA requests, so I must coordinate with TSA’s different internal offices and high-level officials to ensure we are providing accurate advice and data. I am ultimately responsible for ensuring no information is released which could jeopardize the security of our nation – a duty I take very seriously.

The most rewarding aspect of my work is continually making progress to serve the American public by providing the information they are entitled to as the FOIA mandates. The FOIA Branch has also worked diligently to reduce the number of pending FOIA requests and to improve customer relationships, both internal and external to TSA. The team and I are dedicated to enhancing TSA’s reputation – which is critical to supporting our mission – through the FOIA process.

By Meagan Darcus, Office of Strategic Communications/Public Affairs

Latest revision: 18 March 2013