Biodefense: Federal Efforts to Develop Biological Threat Awareness, Report to Congressional Requesters [open pdf - 7MB]
"Biological threats come from a variety of sources and can pose a catastrophic danger to public health, animal and plant health, and national security. Threat awareness, which consists of activities such as collecting and analyzing intelligence, developing risk assessments, and anticipating future threats , is vital to help federal agencies identify necessary biodefense capabilities and ensure investments are prioritized to make effective use of federal funds. GAO [Government Accountability Office] was asked to review how key federal agencies develop and share threat awareness information, and how that information informs further investments in biodefense. This report describes : (1) the types of actions that key federal agencies have taken to develop biological threat awareness, and how that information is used to support investment decisions; (2) the extent to which these agencies have developed shared threat awareness; and (3) how DHS's NBACC [National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center] determines what additional threat characterization knowledge to pursue. GAO analyzed federal policies, directives, and strategies related to biodefense, as well as agency documents such as threat assessments and modeling studies. We identified five key biodefense agencies based on review of the roles designated in these documents. GAO interviewed officials from these agencies about threat awareness activities, and reviewed prior GAO work and related biodefense studies. Each of the key agencies reviewed a draft of this report and provided technical comments that GAO incorporated as appropriate."
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/