Combating Terrorism: Accountability Over Medical Supplies Needs Further Improvement

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DIANE Publishing, 2001 - 51 pages
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The United States has established a national policy for combating chemical and biological terrorism and managing the consequences of terrorist attacks. In the event of a domestic chemical or biological terrorist incident, local and state governments would be the first to respond in assisting civilian victims. If the consequences of such an incident overwhelmed state and local capabilities, federal assistance could be given to support their efforts. Critical to that assistance are the chemical and biological medical supplies maintained by the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office of Emergency Preparedness (OEP) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the Marine Corps Chemical Biological Incident Response Forces (CBIRF). This testimony will summarize the results of the General Accounting Office's (GAO's) recent follow-up review and highlight additional actions needed to further improve control over the federal medical stockpiles that can be used to treat civilian and military victims in the event of a chemical of biological terrorist attack. OEP, CDC, VA, and CBIRF have made significant progress toward implementing GAO's October 1999 recommendations. As a result, corrective actions have reduced inventory discrepancy rates and improved accountability.

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Page 13 - August 2000 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. See appendix I for a more detailed discussion of our objectives, scope, and methodology.
Page 29 - As agreed with your office, unless you publicly announce its contents earlier, we plan no further distribution of this report until 30 days after its date. At that time, we will send copies to the Secretary of the Treasury, the Commissioner of Internal Revenue and other interested parties.
Page 41 - Administration (FDA) or the pharmaceutical and medical supply manufacturers of Items stored at Its Central location to determine the Impact of Items exposed to extreme temperatures, There are 142 unique items in the cache, 97 of which are not labeled with a temperature range.
Page 42 - ... ensure that national and local operating plans are followed; and • immediately contact FDA or the pharmaceutical and medical supply manufacturers of items stored at its central location to determine the impact of items exposed to extreme temperatures, replace those items deemed no longer usable, and either add environmental controls to the current location or move the supplies as soon as possible to a climate controlled space.
Page 4 - Marine Corps Chemical Biological Incident Response Force (CBIRF) officials refer to the medical supplies they maintain as a working stock. To simplify our presentation, we refer to CBIRFs medical supplies as a stockpile. In response to your request, our objective was to follow up on actions taken to address our recommendations that the Department of Health and Human Services...
Page 12 - Vendor managed inventories are carried on the manufacturers' inventory records as either "government owned" or "government reserved" and may be rotated with the vendor's normal operating stock in order to assure freshness.
Page 11 - Agency (FEMA) is responsible for managing the support provided by other federal agencies and coordinating response activities with state and local authorities. FEMA coordinates the federal response through the Federal Response Plan and the Terrorism Incident Annex, which establishes a general concept of operations for the federal response to a terrorist incident. FEMA, through the Federal Response Plan, has designated HHS as the lead agency to coordinate medical assistance in the event of a federally...
Page 23 - ... implement a tracking system that retains complete documentation 'for all supplies that have been ordered, received, and destroyed; and d.
Page 21 - In response to our prior report, VA began performing quarterly inventory counts on behalf of OEP in April 2000. As a result, the inventory discrepancy rate declined from approximately 11 percent, as previously reported, to less than 1 percent in November 2000. In addition to current inventory items on hand for immediate deployment in response to an incident, VA was also holding certain expired controlled substances for OEP, pending approval by FDA to extend the shelf life of these items. As of December...
Page 12 - CBIRK created in April 1996 by the Commandant of the Marine Corps, is an incident response force and maintains a working stock of medical materiel to provide emergency medical care and stabilization of injured CBIRF personnel and a limited number of other casualties, CBIRF is also trained and equipped to detect and identify chemical agents as well as extract and decontaminate victims. A graphic representation of the relationships of the agencies responsible for chemical and biological medical supplies...

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