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Highlights

The current H1N1 pandemic highlights the threat posed to our nation by an influenza pandemic. The previous administration's Homeland Security Council (HSC) issued the Implementation Plan for the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza (Plan) in May 2006 to help address a pandemic. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) was asked to (1) determine how the HSC and responsible federal agencies monitor the progress and completion of the Plan's action items; and (2) assess the extent to which selected action items have been completed. To do this, GAO interviewed officials from the HSC and the six federal agencies responsible for implementing most of the Plan, and analyzed a random sample of 60 action items. While this report does not assess the response efforts for the H1N1 pandemic, GAO continues to monitor the outbreak and the federal response.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Homeland Security Council To improve how progress is monitored and completion is assessed under the Plan and in future updates of the Plan, the HSC should instruct the White House National Security Staff (NSS) to work with responsible federal agencies to develop a monitoring and reporting process for action items that are intended for nonfederal entities, such as state and local governments.
Closed - Not Implemented
We followed-up as a part of our engagement on lessons learned from the H1N1 pandemic. The White House Homeland Security Council's National Security Staff (NSS) informed us in April 2011 that the NSS does not plan on updating the National Pandemic Strategy or the National Pandemic Implementation Plan.
Homeland Security Council To improve how progress is monitored and completion is assessed under the Plan and in future updates of the Plan, the HSC should instruct the NSS to work with responsible federal agencies to identify the types of information needed to decide whether to carry out the response-related action items.
Closed - Not Implemented
We followed-up as a part of our engagement on lessons learned from the H1N1 pandemic. The White House Homeland Security Council's National Security Staff (NSS) informed us in April 2011 that the NSS does not plan on updating the National Pandemic Strategy or the National Pandemic Implementation Plan.
Homeland Security Council To improve how progress is monitored and completion is assessed under the Plan and in future updates of the Plan, the HSC should instruct the NSS to work with responsible federal agencies to develop measures of performance that are more consistent with the descriptions of the action items.
Closed - Not Implemented
We followed-up as a part of our engagement on lessons learned from the H1N1 pandemic. The White House Homeland Security Council's National Security Staff (NSS) informed us in April 2011 that the NSS does not plan on updating the National Pandemic Strategy or the National Pandemic Implementation Plan.

Full Report