GAO Report Addresses Need to Sustain Pandemic Flu Efforts
March 5, 2009 (WASHINGTON) – Today, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its report, Influenza Pandemic: Sustaining Focus on the Nation’s Planning and Preparedness Efforts, requested by Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS). Chairman Thompson asked that GAO synthesize the results of its body of work regarding preparedness for pandemic influenza over the past three years in order to ascertain whether GAO recommendations for increased accountability were being followed by members of the Executive Branch.
GAO points out in the report that while the previous Administration had taken a number of actions to plan for a pandemic, including developing a National Strategy and Implementation Plan, much more needs to be done. The report provides six major findings, and shows that of the 23 recommendations it has made regarding pandemic preparedness, 10 remain outstanding. GAO describes weaknesses in leadership, disease surveillance, planning, public health and medical surge capacity, Federal guidance, monitoring and accountability.
Chairman Thompson released the following statement along with the report:
“GAO’s findings echo many of the findings in my Committee’s staff report, Getting Beyond Getting Ready for Pandemic Influenza. The most critical and common finding is a clear and continuing need to prepare for an influenza pandemic,” said Thompson
The threat of pandemic flu is real and we must be prepared. I plan to work in partnership with the Administration to address the recommendations made by GAO so we can achieve national readiness.”
A link to the GAO and Majority Staff reports are below.
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FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Please contact Dena Graziano or Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978.