GAO Says US Needs To Improve Biosurveillance Strategy – Law360

Law360, Washington (July 9, 2015, 3:56 PM ET) — The U.S. Government Accountability Office said in a report Wednesday that there’s still room for improvement when it comes to mapping out, coordinating and organizing a nationwide system for watching for biological threats, be they naturally occurring or the result of a terrorist attack.
There have been important strides in national biosurveillance, GAO director of Homeland Security and Justice Christopher P. Currie said in prepared remarks to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. However, the White House has yet to issue an implementation plan establishing a framework prioritizing resource investments or figure out how to leverage nonfederal resources from local and private actors, according to the report.

“Although the White House developed the National Strategy for Biosurveillance in July 2012, this strategy does not include information that identifies resource and investment needs as we previously recommended,” Currie said. “In June 2010, we found that there was no integrated approach to help ensure an effective national biosurveillance capability and to provide a framework to help identify and prioritize investments.”

The national strategy for biosurveillance was to be followed by an implementation plan within 120 days. That plan has yet to materialize, according to the report.

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