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GAO Reports – Electronic Monitoring, DHS Biosurveillance

  • Electronic Monitoring: Draft National Standard for Offender Tracking Systems Addresses Common Stakeholder Needs, GAO-16-10: Published: Oct 26, 2015. Publicly Released: Nov 25, 2015: “OTS is an electronic monitoring technology consisting of hardware, such as an ankle bracelet, used for collecting Global Positioning System (GPS) signals to determine an individual’s location, and software for analyzing data collected from the hardware device. While demand for GPS-based electronic monitoring devices has increased, there are currently no standards that OTS devices are required to meet. In 2009, NIJ initiated development of a voluntary OTS standard and companion guide, which is expected to be published no later than March 2016. GAO was asked to review NIJ’s approach for developing the OTS standard.”
  • Biosurveillance: DHS Should Not Pursue BioWatch Upgrades or Enhancements Until System Capabilities Are Established, GAO-16-99: Published: Oct 23, 2015. Publicly Released: Nov 23, 2015. “The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) lacks reliable information about BioWatch Gen-2’s technical capabilities to detect a biological attack and therefore lacks the basis for informed cost-benefit decisions about upgrades to the system. DHS commissioned several tests of the technical performance characteristics of the current BioWatch Gen-2 system, but has not developed performance requirements that would enable it to interpret the test results and draw conclusions about the system’s ability to detect attacks. Although DHS officials said that the system can detect catastrophic attacks, which they define as attacks large enough to cause 10,000 casualties, they have not specified the performance requirements necessary to reliably meet this operational objective.”

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