Biosurveillance: Challenges and Options for the National Biosurveillance Integration Center
United States Government Accountability Office Washington United States
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A biological event, such as a naturally occurring pandemic or a terrorist attack with a weapon of mass destruction, could have catastrophic consequences for the nation. This potential threat underscores the importance of a national biosurveillance capability that is, the ability to detect biological events of national significance to provide early warning and information to guide public health and emergency response. The 911 Commission Act of 2007 addresses this capability, in part, by creating NBIC within the Department of Homeland Security DHS it was tasked with integrating information from human health, animal, plant, food, and environmental monitoring systems across the federalgovernment, to improve the likelihood of identifying a biological event at an earlier stage. In recent years, NBICs budget has ranged from 10 million to 13 million annually. GAO was asked to evaluate NBIC. This report discusses the 1 extent to which NBIC is implementing its rolesas a biosurveillance integrator, and 2 options for improving such integration. To conduct this work, GAO reviewed NBIC products and activities conducted interviews and surveyed 19 federal partners, 11 of which have key roles in biosurveillance interviewed NBIC officials and analyzed the 911 Commission Act, NBIC Strategic Plan, and National Strategy for Biosurveillance. GAO is not making recommendations. GAO provided this draft to DHS and its federal partners who provided technical comments which were incorporated, as applicable.
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- Government and Political Science