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Roth DHS OIG Statement 10 24 Ebola

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Roth Audit
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  STATEMENT OF JOHN ROTH INSPECTOR GENERAL DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY BEFORE THE COMMITTEE ON OVERSIGHT AND GOVERNMENT REFORM U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCERNING DHS’ MANAGEMENT OF PANDEMIC PREPAREDNESS SUPPLIES October 24, 2014  1 Good morning Chairman Issa, Ranking Member Cummings, and Members of the Committee. Thank you for inviting me to testify about the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) management of pandemic preparedness supplies. DHS must have the ability to continue its operations in the event of a pandemic. In 2006, Congress appropriated $47 million in supplemental funding to DHS to train, plan, and prepare for a potential pandemic. As a result, that year DHS began efforts to develop contingency plans and preparedness to be able to protect DHS personnel who may become exposed in a pandemic.   Using the appropriated supplemental funding, DHS has acquired, stockpiled, and maintained  protective equipment and antiviral drugs at departmental and component levels in preparation for a pandemic response. DHS’ Office of Health Affairs (OHA) and the Directorate for Management are responsible for organizing the Department’s pandemic preparations. These offices provide guidance to DHS components to enable mission readiness and protect DHS personnel during a pandemic. My statement today will focus on the results of our August 2014 audit of the Department’s management of personal protective equipment and antiviral drugs as well as DHS’ progress in addressing our recommendations. 1  Our audit focused on the Department’s preparations to continue operating and achieving its mission should a pandemic occur. In short, our audit concluded that DHS did not adequately assess its needs before purchasing pandemic  preparedness supplies and then did not adequately manage the supplies it had purchased. We made 11 recommendations to help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Department’s  pandemic preparedness. DHS Did Not Adequately Assess Its Needs or Plan Its Acquisition of Supplies During our audit, we found that DHS did not adequately conduct a needs assessment before  purchasing protective equipment and antiviral drugs. DHS reported spending $9.5 million on  pandemic protective equipment beginning in 2006, yet did not identify its needs for protective equipment. Moreover, DHS spent $6.7 million for antiviral drugs, but did not have clear and documented methodologies for determining the types and quantities of medication it should  purchase. In other words, we could not determine the basis for DHS’ decisions on how much or what types of pandemic preparedness supplies to purchase, store, or distribute. The balance of the funds was spent on pandemic research, exercises, and storage. By not identifying its needs, the Department cannot be sure its protective equipment stockpiles are adequate or determine whether it has excess supplies on hand. For example: ã   The DHS National Capital Region (NCR) pandemic stockpile contains about 350,000 white coverall suits. Yet DHS had no justification or related documentation to support that this quantity and type of protective equipment was necessary for pandemic response. 1    DHS Has Not Effectively Managed Pandemic Personal Protective Equipment and Antiviral Medical Countermeasures , OIG-14-129, August 2014 .  2 ã   The Department has a reported inventory of approximately 16 million surgical masks but did not demonstrate a need for that quantity of masks. ã   The Department’s NCR and component pandemic protective equipment stockpiles include expired hand sanitizer. Out of 4,982 bottles, 4,184 (84 percent) are expired, some  by up to 4 years. ã   TSA’s stock of pandemic protective equipment includes about 200,000 respirators that are beyond the 5-year usability guaranteed by the manufacturer. TSA is sampling these to determine any specific problems with usability. In fiscal year 2009, OHA added approximately 240,000 courses of antiviral drugs to the Department’s stockpile, again without first determining the Department’s pandemic needs. Only after its initial purchases did OHA prepare an acquisition management plan for antiviral drugs, which estimated its requirements, but it did not follow this plan. Instead, OHA acted on a senior-level decision to cover the DHS workforce in the event of a pandemic, but it did not provide any documentation demonstrating how the current stockpile of about 300,000 courses aligned with its pandemic needs. Without sufficiently determining its needs, the Department has no assurance it will have enough antiviral drugs to maintain critical operations during a pandemic. DHS Does Not Adequately Manage Pandemic Preparedness Supplies DHS did not effectively manage and oversee its inventory of pandemic preparedness supplies, including protective equipment and antiviral drugs. DHS did not keep accurate records of what it  purchased and received and did not implement sufficient controls to monitor its stockpiles. More specifically, the Department did not develop and implement stockpile replenishment plans, establish sufficient inventory controls to monitor stockpiles, conduct adequate contract oversight, or ensure compliance with departmental guidelines. As a result, the Department may not be able to provide pandemic preparedness supplies that are adequate to continue operations during a  pandemic. DHS did not readily know how much protective equipment it had on hand or where the equipment was being stored. The Department also cannot be assured that the protective equipment on hand is still effective. For example, the Department’s entire respirator stockpile has reached, or will soon reach, the manufacturer’s date of guaranteed usability. In fact, the Department’s own assessment is that the entire protective equipment stockpile will not be usable after 2015. DHS also did not keep records of the protective equipment it purchased and received, and it has not accurately accounted for how much protective equipment it currently has in stock. There is departmental guidance on inventory management, but the Department and components did not establish and maintain accurate inventories in accordance with that guidance. This may have occurred because it did not use an inventory system to track and monitor protective equipment or  perform periodic inventories of its protective equipment stockpiles. During site visits to several components, we identified inaccurate protective equipment inventories. The Department’s management of protective equipment has not been effective because it has not clearly designated department-level responsibility. For example, OHA and the Directorate for  3 Management interpret roles and responsibilities for administration and oversight of DHS’ NCR stockpile differently. Both offices acknowledged the responsibilities were not clearly delineated to guarantee coordinated management and oversight of protective equipment. DHS has also not effectively managed its antiviral drug stockpile. DHS decided to preposition some of its stockpile to component offices in response to the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic. OHA prepositioned approximately 32,000 courses of antiviral drugs to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the U.S. Secret Service, and Federal Emergency Management Agency locations. OHA did not maintain complete or accurate records of the quantity and destination of antiviral drugs distributed from the stockpile, and components did not document receipt of antiviral drugs. Based on our analysis of antiviral drugs sent to components, OHA and components did not have complete or accurate inventories of prepositioned antiviral drugs. For example: ã   OHA sent more than 1,500 courses of antiviral drugs to Secret Service headquarters. OHA did not have records of any antiviral drugs at the Secret Service because it did not maintain shipment documentation. ã   At three ICE field office locations, 720 courses of antiviral drugs were incorrectly reported to ICE headquarters as destroyed; yet, we identified they were still in possession of these antiviral drug courses. Component headquarters did not issue guidance for their field offices or ensure proper controls were in place to account for the antiviral drugs after they were prepositioned. Specifically, components did not ensure antiviral drugs were consistently stored at the correct temperatures. For example, at multiple sites we visited, officials said the buildings where antiviral drugs were  being stored were not temperature controlled during evenings and weekends. Antiviral drugs stored incorrectly may lose effectiveness. OHA spent about $600,000 on the antiviral drugs sent to component field offices, but because it cannot be assured that the prepositioned antiviral drugs have been properly stored, it is recalling about 32,000 courses for possible destruction because of safety and efficacy concerns. DHS’ Progress in Addressing Audit Recommendations DHS concurred with all 11 of our recommendations and 1 recommendation has been fully implemented. The Department has agreed to make the Chief Readiness Support Officer responsible for the management and accountability of pandemic protective equipment. The Department is taking action to implement the remaining 10 recommendations. We will continue to keep the Committee informed about the Department’s progress. Mr. Chairman, this concludes my prepared statement. I welcome any questions you or other Members of the Committee may have. 

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