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As of February 1, 2023, there are 4825 open recommendations that still need to be addressed. 464 of these are priority recommendations, those that we believe warrant priority attention. Learn more about our priority designation on our Recommendations page.

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1 - 20 of 150 Recommendations, including 12 Priority Recommendations
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Public Health Preparedness: HHS Could Improve Oversight of Research Involving Enhanced Potential Pandemic Pathogens

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3 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Department of Health and Human Services The Secretary of Health and Human Services should work with HHS funding agencies to develop and document a standard for "reasonably anticipated" to ensure consistency in identifying research for departmental review that is "reasonably anticipated to create, transfer or use enhanced potential pandemic pathogens." (Recommendation 1)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Department of Health and Human Services The Secretary of Health and Human Services should work with HHS funding agencies to identify and share non-sensitive information with researchers, Congress, and the public about the departmental review process for research involving enhanced potential pandemic pathogens, including information on composition and expertise of those involved in the review process and how the evaluation criteria are applied. (Recommendation 2)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Department of Health and Human Services As HHS and CDC deliberate any changes to the DSAT program, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should assess and document the risk posed by the limitations of the existing DSAT exemptions for public health emergencies and seek legislative authority as needed. (Recommendation 3)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Information Management: Agencies Need to Streamline Electronic Services

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Department of Health and Human Services The Secretary of Health and Human Services should establish a reasonable time frame for when the Department of Health and Human Services will be able to digitally accept access and consent forms from individuals who were properly identity proofed and authenticated and post access and consent forms on the department's privacy program website. (Recommendation 3)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Critical Infrastructure: Actions Needed to Better Secure Internet-Connected Devices

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2 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Department of Health and Human Services The Secretary of Health and Human Services, as SRMA for the healthcare and public health sector, should direct the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response to use the National Plan to develop a sector-specific plan that includes metrics for measuring the effectiveness of their efforts to enhance the cybersecurity of their sector's IoT and OT environments. (Recommendation 3)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Department of Health and Human Services The Secretary of Health and Human Services, as SRMA for the healthcare and public health sector, should direct the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response to include IoT and OT devices as part of the risk assessments of their sector's cyber environment. (Recommendation 4)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Working Dogs: Federal Agencies Need to Better Address Health and Welfare

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Department of Health and Human Services The Secretary of Health and Human Services should direct the National Institute of Health Police to revise their policies, as necessary, to ensure that they address all of the 18 issues GAO identified as important to the health and welfare of working dogs. (Recommendation 6)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Privacy: Dedicated Leadership Can Improve Programs and Address Challenges

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Department of Health and Human Services The Secretary of Health and Human Services should fully define and document a process for ensuring that the senior agency official for privacy or other designated privacy official is involved in assessing and addressing the hiring, training, and professional development needs of the agency with respect to privacy. (Recommendation 17)
Open

The Department of Health and Human Services concurred with our recommendation and described actions planned to address it. Once the department states that it has taken action, we plan to verify whether implementation has occurred.

COVID-19: Pandemic Lessons Highlight Need for Public Health Situational Awareness Network

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12 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Department of Health and Human Services The Secretary of HHS should prioritize the development of the public health situational awareness and biosurveillance network by designating a lead operational division for PAHPAIA implementation. (Recommendation 1)
Open

In September 2022, HHS stated that it was continuing to address this recommendation and would provide an update on the actions it has taken in December 2022.

Department of Health and Human Services The Secretary of HHS should clearly define the roles and responsibilities for the lead operational division responsible for PAHPAIA implementation. The roles and responsibilities should include the specific activities required in PAHPAIA. (Recommendation 2)
Open

In September 2022, HHS stated that it was continuing to address this recommendation and would provide an update on the actions it has taken in December 2022.

Department of Health and Human Services The Secretary of HHS should identify the office responsible for overseeing the completion of the activities performed by the lead operational division and clearly define its roles and responsibilities. (Recommendation 3)
Open

In September 2022, HHS stated that it was continuing to address this recommendation and would provide an update on the actions it has taken in December 2022.

Department of Health and Human Services The Secretary of HHS should ensure that the lead operational division, in developing the PAHPAIA work plan, includes the steps to be taken to address all of the required actions in PAHPAIA. (Recommendation 4)
Open

In September 2022, HHS stated that it was continuing to address this recommendation and would provide an update on the actions it has taken in December 2022.

Department of Health and Human Services The Secretary of HHS should ensure that the lead operational division, in developing the PAHPAIA work plan, includes specific near-term and longterm actions that can be completed to show progress in developing the network. (Recommendation 5)
Open

In September 2022, HHS stated that it was continuing to address this recommendation and would provide an update on the actions it has taken in December 2022.

Department of Health and Human Services The Secretary of HHS should ensure that the lead operational division, in developing the PAHPAIA work plan, includes time frames for implementing the near-term and long-term actions. (Recommendation 6)
Open

In September 2022, HHS stated that it was continuing to address this recommendation and would provide an update on the actions it has taken in December 2022.

Department of Health and Human Services The Secretary of HHS should ensure that the PAHPAIA work plan includes specific steps the department will take to oversee the progress of the actions the lead operational division takes to implement PAHPAIA requirements. (Recommendation 7)
Open

In September 2022, HHS stated that it was continuing to address this recommendation and would provide an update on the actions it has taken in December 2022.

Department of Health and Human Services The Secretary of HHS should commit to a deadline for finalizing the work plan to implement PAHPAIA requirements and ensure that the work plan is fully implemented. (Recommendation 8)
Open

In September 2022, HHS stated that it was continuing to address this recommendation and would provide an update on the actions it has taken in December 2022.

Department of Health and Human Services The Secretary of HHS should ensure that the lead operational division for PAHPAIA implementation identifies and documents the IT- and information sharing-related challenges and lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. (Recommendation 9)
Open

In September 2022, HHS stated that it was continuing to address this recommendation and would provide an update on the actions it has taken in December 2022.

Department of Health and Human Services The Secretary of HHS should ensure that the lead operational division for PAHPAIA implementation shares the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic with relevant stakeholders, such as state, territorial, and local public health officials. (Recommendation 10)
Open

In September 2022, HHS stated that it was continuing to address this recommendation and would provide an update on the actions it has taken in December 2022.

Department of Health and Human Services The Secretary of HHS should ensure that the lead operational division for PAHPAIA implementation request that state, territory, and local public health officials share their lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic with HHS. (Recommendation 11)
Open

In September 2022, HHS stated that it was continuing to address this recommendation and would provide an update on the actions it has taken in December 2022.

Department of Health and Human Services The Secretary of HHS should ensure that the lead operational division for PAHPAIA implementation incorporates lessons learned from the COVID- 19 pandemic into its plans for implementing the situational awareness and biosurveillance network. (Recommendation 12)
Open

In September 2022, HHS stated that it was continuing to address this recommendation and would provide an update on the actions it has taken in December 2022.

Note: the list of open recommendations for the last report may continue on the next page.

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