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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 201307 Find in a Library
Title: Homeland Insecurity: Building the Expertise to Defend America from Bioterrorism
Corporate Author: Partnership for Public Service
United States of America
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 36
Sponsoring Agency: Partnership for Public Service
Washington, DC 20006
Sale Source: Partnership for Public Service
1725 Eye Street, NW
Suite 900
Washington, DC 20006
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This document assesses the Federal Government’s efforts to find, hire, manage, and retain critical biodefense employees.
Abstract: In the effort to respond to the threat of bioterrorism, a critical element of preparedness is being consistently overlooked: the skilled medical and scientific employees that form the foundation of the Federal civilian biodefense. The five Federal agencies that contribute substantially to the biodefense are the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the Food and Drug Administration, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and the Food Safety and Inspection Service. Based on interviews with officials from these agencies and in other areas of biodefense research, it was found that defenses against bioterrorist attack in terms of civilian capacity and expertise is retreating. The current state of civil service frustrates attempts to field an effective corps of biodefense experts. The current management systems also mask inadequacies. Policymakers, agency leaders, and others responsible for biodefense neither regularly assess needs for biodefense experts nor measure successes and failures in recruiting and retaining these experts. Biodefense agencies are finding it increasingly difficult to hire employees with the required scientific and medical expertise. Federal biodefense agencies are losing some of their most talented employees as a result of the limitations of current government pay systems. Federal biodefense agencies will face significant and unavoidable hurdles maintaining current staffing levels as large percentages of the workforce reach retirement age. Recommendations include conducting a national audit of biodefense needs; focusing leaders on the importance of biodefense talent to homeland security; launching a campaign to recruit and retain biodefense experts; and growing the first generation of biodefense talent. 3 figures, 57 endnotes
Main Term(s): Domestic Preparedness; Personnel shortages
Index Term(s): Biological weapons; Employment; Personnel retention; Subversive activities; Terrorist weapons; Weapons
Note: Downloaded July 11, 2003
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