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National Biodefense Strategy: Additional Efforts Would Enhance Likelihood of Effective Implementation

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GAO has reported on the inherent fragmented nature of the federal and nonfederal resources needed to protect the nation from potentially catastrophic biological threats. GAO called for a strategic approach to help the federal government better leverage resources and manage risk The White House issued the National Biodefense Strategy and the Presidential Memorandum on the Support for National Biodefense to promote a more efficient and coordinated biodefense enterprise. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 included a provision that GAO review the strategy. This report addresses the extent to which the Strategy and implementation efforts are designed to enhance national biodefense capabilities and any implementation challenges that exist. GAO analyzed the Strategy, plans, and NSPM-14, and compared them to selected characteristics of GAOs work on effective national strategies, enterprise risk management, organizational transformation, and interagency coordination. GAO interviewed officials from the eight federal agencies that comprised the Biodefense Steering Committee to learn about early implementation. What GAO Recommends GAO is making four recommendations to the Secretary of HHS, including working with other agencies to document methods for analysis and the processes, roles, and responsibilities for enterprise-wide decision making. HHS concurred with all the recommendations and described steps to implement them.



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