Risk management (71 - 80 of 139 items)
High-Containment Laboratories: National Strategy for Oversight Is Needed
GAO-09-574: Published: Sep 21, 2009. Publicly Released: Sep 21, 2009.
U.S. laboratories working with dangerous biological pathogens (commonly referred to as high-containment laboratories) have proliferated in recent years. As a result, the public is concerned about the oversight of these laboratories. The deliberate or accidental release of biological pathogens can have disastrous consequences. GAO was asked to determine (1) to what extent, and in what areas, the nu...
Homeland Defense: Greater Focus on Analysis of Alternatives and Threats Needed to Improve DOD's Strategic Nuclear Weapons Security
GAO-09-828: Published: Sep 18, 2009. Publicly Released: Sep 18, 2009.
A successful terrorist attack on a facility containing nuclear weapons could have devastating consequences. GAO was asked to compare the Department of Defense's (DOD) and Department of Energy's (DOE) efforts to protect the nation's nuclear weapons where they are stored, maintained, or transported. This report (1) compares the nuclear weapons security policies and procedures at DOD and DOE, and the...
Combating Nuclear Terrorism: Preliminary Observations on Preparedness to Recover from Possible Attacks Using Radiological or Nuclear Materials
GAO-09-996T: Published: Sep 14, 2009. Publicly Released: Sep 14, 2009.
A terrorist's use of a radiological dispersal device (RDD) or improvised nuclear device (IND) to release radioactive materials into the environment could have devastating consequences. The timely cleanup of contaminated areas, however, could speed the restoration of normal operations, thus reducing the adverse consequences from an incident. This testimony examines (1) the extent to which federal a...
Biological Research: Observations on DHS's Analyses Concerning Whether FMD Research Can Be Done as Safely on the Mainland as on Plum Island
GAO-09-747: Published: Jul 30, 2009. Publicly Released: Jul 30, 2009.
Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is the most highly infectious animal disease known: nearly 100 percent of exposed animals become infected with it. Although the United States has not had an outbreak of FMD since 1929, a single outbreak of FMD virus as a result of an accidental or intentional release from a laboratory on the U.S. mainland could have significant consequences for U.S. agriculture. The tr...
Emergency Communications: Vulnerabilities Remain and Limited Collaboration and Monitoring Hamper Federal Efforts
GAO-09-604: Published: Jun 26, 2009. Publicly Released: Jul 27, 2009.
Emergency communications breakdowns undermined response efforts during terrorist attacks in 2001 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. In response, federal agencies like the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have increased efforts to enhance emergency communications. This requested report identifies (1) vulnerabilities, if any, to emergency communications s...
Homeland Security: Preliminary Results Show Federal Protective Service's Ability to Protect Federal Facilities Is Hampered By Weaknesses in Its Contract Security Guard Program
GAO-09-859T: Published: Jul 8, 2009. Publicly Released: Jul 8, 2009.
To accomplish its mission of protecting about 9,000 federal facilities, the Federal Protective Service (FPS) currently has a budget of about $1 billion, about 1,200 full time employees, and about 13,000 contract security guards. This testimony discusses GAO's preliminary findings on (1) the extent to which FPS ensures that its guards have the required training and certifications before being deplo...
The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Critical Infrastructure Protection Cost-Benefit Report
GAO-09-654R: Published: Jun 26, 2009. Publicly Released: Jun 26, 2009.
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, damaging critical infrastructure, such as oil platforms, pipelines, and refineries; water mains; electric power lines; and cellular phone towers. The infrastructure damage and resulting chaos disrupted government and business functions alike, producing cascading effects far beyond the physical location of the storm. Threats against critical inf...
Combating Nuclear Smuggling: Lessons Learned from DHS Testing of Advanced Radiation Detection Portal Monitors
GAO-09-804T: Published: Jun 25, 2009. Publicly Released: Jun 25, 2009.
The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) is responsible for addressing the threat of nuclear smuggling. Radiation detection portal monitors are key elements in the nation's defenses against such threats. DHS has sponsored testing to develop new monitors, known as advanced spectroscopic portal (ASP) monitors, to replace radiation detection equipment being...
Combating Nuclear Smuggling: DHS Improved Testing of Advanced Radiation Detection Portal Monitors, but Preliminary Results Show Limits of the New Technology
GAO-09-655: Published: May 21, 2009. Publicly Released: Jun 22, 2009.
The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) is testing new advanced spectroscopic portal (ASP) radiation detection monitors. DNDO expects ASPs to reduce both the risk of missed threats and the rate of innocent alarms, which DNDO considers to be key limitations of radiation detection equipment currently used by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at U.S. por...
National Preparedness: FEMA Has Made Progress, but Needs to Complete and Integrate Planning, Exercise, and Assessment Efforts
GAO-09-369: Published: Apr 30, 2009. Publicly Released: May 29, 2009.
Hurricane Katrina was the most destructive disaster in our nation's history and it highlighted gaps in preparedness for a catastrophic disaster. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a component within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is the lead federal agency responsible for developing a national preparedness system. The system includes policies and plans as well as exercises...