To enhance the security of the United States with respect to public health emergencies, the Secretary, acting through the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shall award cooperative agreements to eligible entities to enable such entities to conduct the activities described in subsection (d).
An entity shall, to the extent practicable, ensure that activities carried out under an award under subsection (a) are coordinated with activities of relevant Metropolitan Medical Response Systems, local public health departments, the Cities Readiness Initiative, local emergency plans, and any regional health care emergency preparedness and response system established pursuant to the applicable guidelines under section 247d–3c of this title.
Not later than 180 days after December 19, 2006, the Secretary shall develop and disseminate to the chief executive officer of each State criteria for an effective State plan for responding to pandemic influenza. The Secretary shall periodically update, as necessary and appropriate, such pandemic influenza plan criteria and shall require the integration of such criteria into the benchmarks and standards described in paragraph (1).
The Secretary shall, as determined appropriate by the Secretary, provide to a State, upon request, technical assistance in meeting the requirements of this section, including the provision of advice by experts in the development of high-quality assessments, the setting of State objectives and assessment methods, the development of measures of satisfactory annual improvement that are valid and reliable, and other relevant areas.
The Secretary shall develop and implement a process to notify entities that are determined by the Secretary to have failed to meet the requirements of paragraph (1) or (2). Such process shall provide such entities with the opportunity to correct such noncompliance. An entity that fails to correct such noncompliance shall be subject to paragraph (5).
In making awards under section 247d–3b of this title with amounts described in subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall give preference to eligible entities (as described in section 247d–3b(b)(1) of this title) that are located in whole or in part in States from which amounts have been withheld under paragraph (6).
As determined by the Secretary, non-Federal contributions required in subparagraph (B) may be provided directly or through donations from public or private entities and may be in cash or in kind, fairly evaluated, including plant, equipment or services. Amounts provided by the Federal government, or services assisted or subsidized to any significant extent by the Federal government, may not be included in determining the amount of such non-Federal contributions.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the use of awards under this section to pay salary and related expenses of public health and other professionals employed by State, local, or tribal public health agencies who are carrying out activities supported by such awards (regardless of whether the primary assignment of such personnel is to carry out such activities).
The Secretary shall award cooperative agreements under subsection (a) to each State or consortium of 2 or more States that submits to the Secretary an application that meets the criteria of the Secretary for the receipt of such an award and that meets other implementation conditions established by the Secretary for such awards.
In determining the amount of an award pursuant to subparagraph (A) for a State, the Secretary shall first determine an amount the Secretary considers appropriate for the State (referred to in this paragraph as the “base amount”), except that such amount may not be greater than the minimum amount determined under subparagraph (D).
For fiscal year 2007, the Secretary may, before making awards pursuant to paragraph (3) for such year, reserve from the amount appropriated under paragraph (1) for the year an amount determined necessary by the Secretary to make awards under subsection (a) to political subdivisions that have a substantial number of residents, have a substantial local infrastructure for responding to public health emergencies, and face a high degree of risk from bioterrorist attacks or other public health emergencies. Not more than three political subdivisions may receive awards pursuant to this subparagraph.
In the case of aState that will receive an award pursuant to paragraph (3), and in which there is located a political subdivision that will receive an award pursuant to subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall, in determining the amount under paragraph (3)(C) for the State, subtract from the population of the State an amount equal to the population of such political subdivision.
The Secretary shall, in making awards under this section, ensure that with respect to the cooperative agreement awarded, the entity make available appropriate portions of such award to political subdivisions and local departments of public health through a process involving the consensus, approval or concurrence with such local entities.
Each entity receiving funds under this section or section 247d–3b of this title shall, not less often than once every 2 years, audit its expenditures from amounts received under this section or section 247d–3b of this title. Such audits shall be conducted by an entity independent of the agency administering a program funded under this section or section 247d–3b of this title in accordance with the Comptroller General’s standards for auditing governmental organizations, programs, activities, and functions and generally accepted auditing standards. Within 30 days following the completion of each audit report, the entity shall submit a copy of that audit report to the Secretary.
Each entity shall repay to the United States amounts found by the Secretary, after notice and opportunity for a hearing to the entity, not to have been expended in accordance with this section or section 247d–3b of this title and, if such repayment is not made, the Secretary may offset such amounts against the amount of any allotment to which the entity is or may become entitled under this section or section 247d–3b of this title or may otherwise recover such amounts.
The Secretary may, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, withhold payment of funds to any entity which is not using its allotment under this section or section 247d–3b of this title in accordance with such section. The Secretary may withhold such funds until the Secretary finds that the reason for the withholding has been removed and there is reasonable assurance that it will not recur.
The Secretary shall compile the data submitted under this section and make such data available in a timely manner on an appropriate Internet website in a format that is useful to the public and to other entities and that provides information on what activities are best contributing to the achievement of the outcome goals described in subsection (g).
Not later than 2 years after June 24, 2019, and every 2 years thereafter, the Secretary shall conduct an evaluation of the evidence-based benchmarks and objective standards required under subsection (g). Such evaluation shall be submitted to the congressional committees of jurisdiction together with the National Health Security Strategy under section 300hh–1 of this title, at such time as such strategy is submitted.