Enabling industry partnerships to advance security and enhance passenger experience
What is the Capability Acceptance Process?
The Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Acquisition Program Management (APM) office developed the Capability Acceptance Process (CAP) to facilitate receiving Capability such as Transportation Security Equipment (TSE) and related services from industry stakeholders and security partners like airports and airlines. The CAP represents an objective and repeatable process to evaluate, accept, and implement requests to offer Capability that outlines the intent of stakeholders and partners to procure, and ultimately transfer or convey, the Capability to TSA. The CAP is neither a solicitation vehicle nor a circumvention of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and TSA acquisition or procurement processes.
Any entities considering donating or transferring Capability to TSA can reference the questions and links below for a more detailed explanation of the process and expectations.
This process is an option for stakeholders and partners who may benefit from accelerating TSE deployment timelines, recapitalizing TSE, or enhancing security and the passenger experience.
What Capability can be transferred to TSA?
The Acceptable Capability List (ACL) serves as the official list of Capability that TSA is able to accept from Donors for use within TSA operations. The ACL is a living document that is updated as new Capability are approved for operation in a screening environment as TSA has performed applicable testing, determined that the Capability meets requirements, and received approvals as required under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acquisition Lifecycle Framework (ALF) (i.e., receiving an approved Acquisition Decision Event (ADE)-3 Acquisition Decision Memorandum).
Capability that are not listed on the ACL are considered Emerging Capability. Emerging Capability cannot be accepted for operational use, but TSA may consider offers to provide these types of capability to support ADEs within the DHS ALF, such as Assessments (field demonstration or laboratory testing) and/or Operational Testing. If you have questions about Emerging Capability, please reach out to the APM CAP team.
How does CAP work?
The process includes five steps across three phases: Evaluation, Preparation, and Implementation.
Phase 1: Evaluation
- Step 1: Initial Request - The Donor Point of Contact (POC) should contact their Local TSA POC to indicate interest in donating Capability and provide all requested information to initiate a Capability Request.
- Step 2: Business Case Determination - TSA evaluates Business Case and Financial Analysis Factors to determine if it is in the best interest of TSA to accept the Capability Request. No additional information is needed from the Donor for this step.
- Step 3: Memorandum of Understanding - TSA and the Donor formalize their intent to move forward with the Capability Request defining and documenting the baseline expectations for both parties.
Phase 2: Preparation
- Step 4: Support of Donor Responsibilities - Assignment and coordination between the Donor and TSA of all necessary pre-implementation activities (e.g., design, procurement, site prep, delivery, installation, acceptance testing) occurs and is documented in the Terms and Conditions for Acceptable Capability.
Phase 3: Implementation
- Step 5: Capability Offer and Acceptance - Formalizes the transfer and acceptance of Capability from the Donor to TSA. Template for Offer Letter and Acceptance Letter
What criteria does TSA use to assess Capability Requests?
A Capability Request is evaluated on Business Case and Financial Analysis factors to provide a comprehensive Business Case Determination. The factors include the following, but may be tailored depending on the Capability Request:
- Technology: Is the technology on the ACL?
- Demonstrated Need: Does TSA’s capacity analysis validate the request?
- Staffing: Can TSA staff the donated TSE?
- Training: Does the donation require additional training?
- Operational Impact: Will impacts to operations occur, such as an increase to wait time?
- Project Impact: Will there be positive or negative impacts to other TSA projects, such as deployments of other TSE?
- Site Readiness: Can the local airport accommodate the donation without infrastructure changes?
- Deployment: Can the Capability be deployed with minimal disruption to TSA (resourcing, system integrator costs, etc.)?
- Sustainability: Does the Capability increase immediate costs of training, staffing, and/or maintenance at this airport?
- Financial Analysis: Based on the lifecycle cost of the donation, does the benefit of accepting the donation outweigh the cost to TSA?
- Other benefits or risks
What requirements are applicable to Capability?
It is the Donor’s responsibility to understand all CAP terms and conditions, including general and Capability-specific guidelines. TSA will work with each Donor individually to determine what Terms and Conditions are applicable based on the specific Capability and screening environment.