The Centers for Disease Control can envision a future where it uses social media as a data source for the early tracking of emerging diseases, but it's not without obstacles. Nontraditional data sources are an increasing necessity caused by the great recent decline of public health staff at local governments, said Joanne Andreadis, senior advisor within the CDC Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response. She spoke on a panel Oct. 28 during the annual ACT-IAC Executive Leadership Conference.
Only 19 percent of American adults say they trust the government to do what is right most of the time or always, nearly setting a new record low, according to a Pew Research Center poll.
Less than 2 percent of National Science Foundation personnel qualified as essential enough to continue working during the government shutdown under the agency's contingency plan. Within the Health and Human Services Department, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has retained 32 percent of its staff.
Several departments underspent on small business programs for the commercialization of research and development because they left out entire component agencies from the calculations used to fund the programs, the GAO says. Under two federal programs, agencies must spend a certain percentage of their outside research and development funding on small businesses R&D efforts that align with federal priorities.
For example: What attributes of guns, ammunition and gun users affect whether a gunshot injury will be fatal or not? When guns are used in self-defense, how often do they actually prevent injury to the crime victim? What types of weapons do youths obtain and carry?
A Centers for Disease Control official said he shared lawmakers concerns about whether new BioWatch technology would be worth its cost during a June 18 House hearing. "Almost invariably, new technology programs are offered with the promise that they're going to save money by saving labor and decreasing cost, and often that doesn't turn out to be the case," said Toby Merlin.
Government scientists have gained more whistleblower protection and freedom to express personal opinions under the Obama administration, but most agencies still do not give scientists access to drafts and final revisions in which their work played a part, a study by the Union of Concerned Scientists found.
David Hale, project manager of Pillbox, a National Library of Medicine open government initiative, said commercial apps available to the public often are "emotionally satisfying as well as useful," and "even if citizens don't expect government apps to be at that same level, honestly, they're still a little disappointed when they don't get it."
Federal agencies have four months to develop policies to address the impact of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking in the workplace, including support plans for workers affected by such violence.
More than a dozen consumer and civil liberties groups sent a letter to the Obama administration urging the United States to support Europe's efforts to update and strengthen privacy legislation while decrying an "unprecedented lobbying campaign" by the U.S. government and industry to limit the protections that the proposed European Union data protection directive would provide.