Homeland Security: New Department Could Improve Coordination but May Complicate Priority Setting

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Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and the subsequent anthrax incidents, there has been concern about the ability of the federal government to prepare for and coordinate an effective public health response given the broad distribution of responsibility for that task at the federal level. More then 20 federal departments and agencies carry some responsibility for bioterrorism preparedness and response. The President's proposed Homeland Security Act of 2002 would bring many of these federal entities with homeland security responsibilities--including public health preparedness and response--into one department ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. June 28, 2002.

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Description

Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and the subsequent anthrax incidents, there has been concern about the ability of the federal government to prepare for and coordinate an effective public health response given the broad distribution of responsibility for that task at the federal level. More then 20 federal departments and agencies carry some responsibility for bioterrorism preparedness and response. The President's proposed Homeland Security Act of 2002 would bring many of these federal entities with homeland security responsibilities--including public health preparedness and response--into one department to mobilize and focus assets and resources at all levels of government. The proposed reorganization has the potential to assist in the coordination of public health preparedness and response programs at the federal, state, and local levels. There are concerns, however, about the proposed transfer of control of public health assistance programs that have both basic public health and homeland security functions from Health and Human Services to the new department. Transferring control over these programs, including priority setting, to the new department has the potential to disrupt some programs critical to basic public health responsibilities. The President's proposal is unclear on how both the homeland security and the public health objectives would be accomplished."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • June 28, 2002

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  • June 10, 2014, 6:42 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Homeland Security: New Department Could Improve Coordination but May Complicate Priority Setting, text, June 28, 2002; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc290192/: accessed August 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.