The federal executive boards (FEB) bring together federal agency and community leaders in major metropolitan areas outside Washington, D.C., to discuss issues of common interest, including pandemic influenza. This testimony addresses the FEBs' emergency support roles and responsibilities, their potential role in pandemic influenza preparedness, and some of the key challenges they face in providing emergency support services. The issues discussed in the testimony are based on the GAO report, The Federal Workforce: Additional Steps Needed to Take Advantage of Federal Executive Boards' Ability to Contribute to Emergency Operations (GAO-07- 515, May 2007). GAO selected 14 of the 28 FEBs for review because they coordinate the greatest number of federal employees or had recent emergency management experience. In this report, GAO recommended that the Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to formally define the FEBs' role in emergency planning and response. In completing the FEB strategic plan, OPM should also establish accountability for the boards' emergency support activities and develop a proposal to address the uncertainty of funding sources for the boards. While not commenting specifically on the recommendations, OPM said it is building a business case through which to address the resources FEBs need to continue operations.
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