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Biosurveillance: DHS Should Reevaluate Mission Neeed and Alternatives before Proceeding with BioWatch Generation-3 Acquisition
Willliam O. Jenkins, Jr. (au)
The 2001 anthrax attacks brought attention to the potentially devastating consequences of a biological attack. The Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) operates a program, known as BioWatch, intended to help detect such an attack by airborne pathogens. The currently deployed technology can take 12 to 36 hours to confirm the presence of pathogens. DHS has been pursuing a third generation of the technology that will perform automated testing, potentially generating a result in under 6 hours and reducing labor costs. DHS approved the Generation-3 (Gen-3) acquisition in October 2009, but it did not fully engage in the early phases of its acquisition framework to ensure that the acquisition was grounded in a justified mission need and that it pursued an optimal solution. This report addresses the extent to which (1) DHS used its acquisition life cycle framework to justify the need and consider alternatives; (2) DHS developed reliable performance, schedule, and cost expectations; and (3) steps remain before Gen-3 can be deployed. Figures and tables. This is a print on demand report.
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