HIGHCONTAINMENT LABORATORIES: Stronger Oversight Mechanisms Needed to Improve Safety
Safety lapses at federal high containment laboratories in 2014 and 2015 raised concerns about federal departments’ oversight of these laboratories. These laboratories work with hazardous biological agents to develop measures to protect public and animal health and the food supply against these agents. GAO was asked to review oversight at federal high containment laboratories. This report examines (1) the extent to which federal agencies have comprehensive and up-to-date policies for managing biological agents in these laboratories, (2) how they oversee laboratories, and (3) the extent to which HHS and DOD have implemented recommendations from laboratory safety reviews. GAO assessed policies and oversight activities at 8 departments and their 15 component agencies that own and operate high-containment laboratories against federal internal control standards and program management leading practices, reviewed plans for implementing laboratory safety recommendations, and interviewed federal officials.
Courtesy of GAO@100