Influenza Pandemic – Agencies Report Progress in Plans to Protect Federal Workers but Oversight Could Be Improved

Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office, GAO-12-748, July 25, 2012

From the summary:
In 2012, federal agencies reported they had made progress in planning to protect their federal employees during an influenza pandemic. For example:

– Twenty-three of 24 federal agencies reported they had completed influenza pandemic plans that address the operational approach they would use to protect their employees in the event of an influenza pandemic. In 2009, 20 agencies reported completing such plans.

– All 24 agencies reported that, to reduce employees’ risk of exposure to influenza, they developed policies or procedures such as telework and avoiding all unnecessary travel. In the 2009 survey, 22 agencies reported developing the former policy and 18 the latter.

– All of the agencies reported that they planned for the distribution of hygiene supplies to protect employees whose duties require them to work onsite during an influenza pandemic. In 2009, 18 agencies reported taking this planning step.

However, the agencies reported uneven status in some key areas suggesting some additional oversight is needed. For example, only nine agencies reported they have classified all or most jobs for onsite mission essential functions by exposure risk level. Additional oversight could help in ensuring that, by classifying jobs by exposure risk level, agencies have appropriate measures in place to protect those employees who must carry out mission essential functions that cannot be performed remotely during an influenza pandemic.

Leave a Reply