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Audit (A-06-08-00064)

09-13-2010
Review of Louisiana's Bioterrorism and Emergency Preparedness Program

Executive Summary

Pursuant to the Public Health Service Act, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides funds to State and major local health departments to improve preparedness and response capabilities for bioterrorism and other public health emergencies. From 1999 to 2005, CDC provided this funding through the Public Health Preparedness and Response for Bioterrorism Program. Beginning in 2005, CDC has provided funding through the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program. We refer to these two programs collectively as "the program." Our review found that Louisiana claimed $11,000 in unallowable costs for the period August 31, 2004, through August 30, 2006: $7,000 for technical training that was paid for but not taken and $4,000 related to payroll errors. These deficiencies occurred because the State (1) did not have controls in place to ensure that a prepaid technical training coupon package was fully used and (2) made clerical errors. In addition, we are setting aside $1 million of contract costs because we were unable to determine whether the amount allocated to the program accurately reflected the relative benefits received. The remaining $7.9 million in program expenditures that we reviewed was allowable, allocable, and reasonable.

We recommended that Louisiana (1) refund $11,000 for costs that were improperly charged to the program, (2) work with CDC to determine what portion of the $1 million in set-aside expenditures is allocable to the program and refund the unallowable portion to CDC, and (3) develop a policy for allocating contract costs and document its allocation methodology. The State generally concurred with our recommendations.

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