GAO’s recommendations database contains report recommendations that still need to be addressed.
GAO’s priority recommendations are those that we believe warrant priority attention.
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As of February 9, 2020, there are 4958 open recommendations, of which 422 are priority recommendations. Recommendations remain open until they are designated as Closed-implemented or Closed-not implemented.
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Recommendation: The Assistant Secretary for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction should develop a strategy and implementation plan to help the Department of Homeland Security, among other things, guide, support, integrate and coordinate its chemical defense programs and activities; leverage resources and capabilities; and provide a roadmap for addressing any identified gaps. (Recommendation 1)
Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office Status: Open Priority recommendation
Comments: DHS agreed with GAO's September 2018 recommendation and is taking actions to address it. Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office (CWMD) officials stated in December 2018 that CWMD plans to develop a strategy and implementation plan to help DHS guide, support, integrate and coordinate its chemical defense programs and activities; leverage resources and capabilities; and provide a roadmap for addressing any identified gaps. According to CWMD officials, the implementation plan would broadly address DHS chemical defense activities and programs to prevent, protect against, and respond to chemical incidents, including support to federal, state, tribal, and territorial operators and agencies, as well as the private sector. CWMD officials provided GAO with the completed strategy in December 2019 and plan to complete the implementation plan by September 30, 2020. The strategy includes four overarching goals that will drive CWMD's mission in protecting American safety and security from chemical threats and incidents. We will continue to monitor the status of the implementation plan, as completion of both documents is essential to help the CWMD Office guide DHS's efforts to address fragmentation and coordination issues and would be consistent with the office's aim to establish a coherent mission.
Recommendation: To ensure progress is made toward the implementation of any IT enhancements needed to establish electronic public health situational awareness network capabilities mandated by PAHPRA, the Secretary of HHS should direct the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response to conduct all IT management and oversight processes related to the establishment of the network in accordance with Enterprise Performance Life Cycle Framework guidance, under the leadership of the HHS CIO.
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services Status: Open Priority recommendation
Comments: Officials have previously acknowledged that a public health situational awareness network capability is important for identifying, processing, and comprehending data in real-time and stated that such a capability requires coordination and participation from numerous federal entities, including numerous HHS's operating divisions. However, in March 2019, an HHS official stated that the agency does not plan to take any actions to implement our recommendation until the reauthorization of PAHPRA is enacted. In addition, the agency has not provided a plan of action for how it expects to implement the recommendation. Until steps are taken to implement our recommendation, HHS may not make the progress needed to establish an electronic public health situational awareness network capability mandated by PAHPRA. In addition, by not taking action, the agency may be hindered in its ability to be responsive to the requirements identified in the proposed reauthorization.