New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Expenditure of Bioterrorism Grant Funds from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention The United States Department of Health and Human Servicesí Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Program grant funds to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. During the 19 months covered by our audit, the Department expended $30.7 million of these funds. We audited these expenditures and found that they were generally appropriate.
However, we noted that equipment costing $625,391, which was purchased for the express purpose of facilitating a response to an incident of bioterrorism or a similar such emergency, was sitting in storage for extended periods of time, and as a result, would not have been available had such an emergency arose. For example, 110 of the 380 Global Positioning System (GPS) devices that had been purchased for Department vehicles were sitting in storage for two years (the Department was paying for twice-daily location reports for these devices). In addition, a $188,368 robotic arm, which was to be used to perform testing on biologic agents, was in storage for more than a year after it was purchased. When we brought these matters to the attention of Department officials, some of the equipment was made available for use. We recommended that certain improvements be made in the Departmentís emergency response practices.
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