​TSA contracted IBM $47k for iPad app: Report

The Transportation Security Administration paid IBM a total of $336,413.59 for mobile application development services of which $47,400 was used to develop the randomiser app.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has revealed that IBM was contracted by the Department of Homeland Security for $47,400 to build the TSA randomiser app.

A TSA spokesperson told Mashable the total development cost for the randomiser app was $47,400. This amount was a fraction of the $336,413.59 the TSA paid IBM for mobile application development services, according to documents obtained by developer Kevin Burke under the Freedom of Information Act.

The randomiser app was previously used across a number of US airports to randomly sort travellers in the PreCheck lanes determining whether they go left or right. The arrows showed up on an iPad, which was held on display by TSA officers.

TSA administrator John Pistole said back in August 2013 when the TSA randomiser was being piloted that the main purpose was to prevent any sort of profiling, and improve the efficiency of the TSA PreCheck lanes.

In addition to the $336,414 contract amount the US government paid to IBM for the mobile application development services, Department of Homeland Security has also previously engaged IBM in eight other contracts in the same award, totalling $1.4 million.

The Australian government during Budget 2015 allocated AU$164.8 million over four years to overhaul the Australian immigration IT system to provide scope for a new IT platform to support travellers' biometric data and visa information.

The funding will also be used for a trial and rollout of new eGates at major international airports and three seaports.