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Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO assessed the medical component of the Department of Defense's (DOD) Biological Defense Research Program, operated by the Army's Medical Research and Development Command.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of the Army 1. The Secretary of the Army should direct the Medical Research and Development Command to review all ongoing medical research projects to determine whether they address validated warfare threat agents and discontinue all projects that do not.
Closed - Implemented
Although DOD did not concur with the recommendation, action was taken to discontinue research on those projects which were determined not to address validated warfare threat agents. An accomplishment report will be prepared if GAO planned follow-up review discloses substantial savings.
Department of the Army 2. The Secretary of the Army should direct the Medical Research and Development Command to arrange for independent reviews of all proposed research projects by officials from the Armed Forces Medical Intelligence Center and the Academy of Health Sciences to ensure that all future projects address validated warfare agents, and report the results of each review to the Army Surgeon General.
Closed - Not Implemented
The issue will be reconsidered during a forthcoming review of DOD medical programs, code 393531.
Department of the Army 3. The Army should amend its regulations to require the systematic coordination of its medical biological research projects with those of other federal research databases.
Closed - Not Implemented
The issue will be reconsidered during a forthcoming review of DOD medical programs, code 393531.
Department of the Army 4. The Secretary of the Army should direct the Medical Research and Development Command to discontinue development of all products that do not address validated threats.
Closed - Implemented
Although DOD did not concur with the recommendation, action was taken to discontinue the development of those products that do not address validated warfare threat agents.

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