Report Says Department of Homeland Security is Ill Prepared for a Major Outbreak

<p>CNN.com is reporting that the Office of the Inspector General says that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is "ill-prepared" for an outbreak such as the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic or a global Ebola outbreak.</p>

CNN.com is reporting that the Office of the Inspector General says that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is "ill-prepared" for an outbreak such as the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic or a global Ebola outbreak.

As the report explains, "In 2006, Congress appropriated $47 million in supplemental funding to DHS for necessary expenses to plan, train, and prepare for a potential pandemic. DHS reported that it spent this funding on personal protective equipment, pandemic research, exercises, and medical countermeasures. The Department and components purchased personal protective equipment and medical countermeasures (specifically, antiviral medical countermeasures) to reduce potential effects of a pandemic and ensure the workforce can continue operations. We conducted an audit of the DHS pandemic preparedness efforts to determine if DHS effectively manages its pandemic preparedness supply of personal protective equipment and antiviral medical countermeasures. DHS did not adequately conduct a needs assessment prior to purchasing pandemic preparedness supplies and then did not effectively manage its stockpile of pandemic personal protective equipment and antiviral medical countermeasures. Specifically, it did not have clear and documented methodologies to determine the types and quantities of personal protective equipment and antiviral medical countermeasures it purchased for workforce protection. The Department also did not develop and implement stockpile replenishment plans, sufficient inventory controls to monitor stockpiles, adequate contract oversight processes, or ensure compliance with Department guidelines. As a result, the Department has no assurance it has sufficient personal protective equipment and antiviral medical countermeasures for a pandemic response. In addition, we identified concerns related to the oversight of antibiotic medical countermeasures."

To read the report, CLICK HERE.

TAGS: Bioterrorism
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