Influenza Pandemic: Gaps in Pandemic Planning and Preparedness Need to Be Addressed
As the current H1N1 outbreak underscores, an influenza pandemic remains a real threat to our nation. Over the past 3 years, GAO conducted a body of work, consisting of 12 reports and 4 testimonies, to help the nation better prepare for a possible pandemic. In February 2009, GAO synthesized the results of most of this work and, in June 2009, GAO issued an additional report on agency accountability for protecting the federal workforce in the event of a pandemic. GAO's work points out that while a number of actions have been taken to plan for a pandemic, including developing a national strategy and implementation plan, many gaps in pandemic planning and preparedness still remain. This statement covers six thematic areas: (1) leadership, authority, and coordination; (2) detecting threats and managing risks; (3) planning, training, and exercising; (4) capacity to respond and recover; (5) information sharing and communication; and (6) performance and accountability.