Congress finds that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has an essential role in defending against and combatting public health threats domestically and abroad and requires secure and modern facilities, and expanded, improved, and appropriately maintained capabilities related to bioterrorism and other public health emergencies, sufficient to enable such Centers to conduct this important mission.
The Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may design, construct, and equip new facilities, renovate existing facilities (including laboratories, laboratory support buildings, scientific communication facilities, transshipment complexes, secured and isolated parking structures, office buildings, and other facilities and infrastructure), and upgrade security of such facilities, in order to better conduct the capacities described in section 247d–1 of this title, and for supporting public health activities.
For any project of designing, constructing, equipping, or renovating any facility under subparagraph (A), the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may enter into a single contract or related contracts that collectively include the full scope of the project, and the solicitation and contract shall contain the clause “availability of funds” found at section 52.232–18 of title 48, Code of Federal Regulations.
Not later than June 1, 2022, the Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct a study on Federal spending in fiscal years 2013 through 2018 for activities authorized under this subsection. Such study shall include a review and assessment of obligations and expenditures directly related to each activity under paragraphs (2) and (3), including a specific accounting of, and delineation between, obligations and expenditures incurred for the construction, renovation, equipping, and security upgrades of facilities and associated contracts under this subsection, and the obligations and expenditures incurred to establish and improve the situational awareness and biosurveillance network under subsection (b), and shall identify the agency or agencies incurring such obligations and expenditures.
The Secretary shall develop a plan to, and ensure that networks under paragraph (1) allow for the timely sharing and discussion, in a secure manner and in a form readily usable for analytical approaches, of essential information concerning bioterrorism or another public health emergency, or recommended methods for responding to such an attack or emergency, allowing for coordination to maximize all-hazards medical and public health preparedness and response and to minimize duplication of effort.
Not later than 1 year after June 24, 2019, the Secretary, in cooperation with health care providers, State, local, Tribal, and territorial public health officials, and relevant Federal agencies (including the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and the National Institute of Standards and Technology), shall, as necessary, adopt technical and reporting standards, including standards for interoperability as defined by section 300jj of this title, for networks under paragraph (1) and update such standards as necessary. Such standards shall be made available on the internet website of the Department of Health and Human Services, in a manner that does not compromise national security.
In adopting and implementing standards under this subsection and subsection (c), the Secretary shall give deference to standards published by standards development organizations and voluntary consensus-based standards entities.
The Secretary, in collaboration with State, local, and tribal public health officials, shall establish, and improve as applicable and appropriate, a near real-time electronic nationwide public health situational awareness capability through an interoperable network of systems to share data and information to enhance early detection of, rapid response to, and management of, potentially catastrophic infectious disease outbreaks, novel emerging threats, and other public health emergencies that originate domestically or abroad. Such network shall be built on existing State situational awareness systems or enhanced systems that enable such interoperability.
Not later than 2 years after June 24, 2019, and every 6 years thereafter, the Secretary shall conduct a review of the elements described in subparagraph (A). Such review shall include a discussion of the addition of any elements pursuant to clause (v), including elements added to advancing new technologies, and identify any challenges in the incorporation of elements under subparagraph (A). The Secretary shall provide such review to the congressional committees of jurisdiction.
Paragraph (3) shall not be construed as requiring separate reporting of data and information from each source listed.
Not later than 180 days after June 24, 2019, the Secretary shall convene a public meeting for purposes of discussing and providing input on the potential goals, functions, and uses of the network described in paragraph (1) and incorporating the elements described in paragraph (3)(A).
The public meeting shall include representatives of relevant Federal agencies (including representatives from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and the National Institute of Standards and Technology); State, local, Tribal, and territorial public health officials; stakeholders with expertise in biosurveillance and situational awareness; stakeholders with expertise in capabilities relevant to biosurveillance and situational awareness, such as experts in informatics and data analytics (including experts in prediction, modeling, or forecasting); and other representatives as the Secretary determines appropriate.
To implement the network described in subsection (c), the Secretary may award grants to States or consortia of States to enhance the ability of such States or consortia of States to establish or operate a coordinated public health situational awareness system for regional or Statewide early detection of, rapid response to, and management of potentially catastrophic infectious disease outbreaks and public health emergencies, in collaboration with appropriate public health agencies, environmental health agencies, sentinel hospitals, clinical laboratories, pharmacies, poison control centers, immunization programs, other health care organizations, and animal health organizations within such States.
Not later than 12 months after December 19, 2006, the Secretary shall prepare and submit a report to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives regarding the findings and recommendations pursuant to subparagraphs (A) through (F) of paragraph (1).
The Secretary shall accomplish the purposes under subsections (b) and (c) no later than September 30, 2023, and shall provide a justification to the congressional committees of jurisdiction for any missed or delayed implementation of measurable steps identified under subsection (c)(6)(A)(iii).
Not later than 3 years after June 24, 2019, the Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct an independent evaluation and submit to the Secretary and the congressional committees of jurisdiction a report concerning the activities conducted under subsections (b) and (c), and provide recommendations, as applicable and appropriate, on necessary improvements to the biosurveillance and situational awareness network.
There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section, $161,800,000 for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2023.
For purposes of this section the term “biosurveillance” means the process of gathering near real-time biological data that relates to human and zoonotic disease activity and threats to human or animal health, in order to achieve early warning and identification of such health threats, early detection and prompt ongoing tracking of health events, and overall situational awareness of disease activity.