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GAO: DHS Should Identify BioWatch Gen-2 Platform Capabilities Before System Update

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GAOThe Government Accountability Office has recommended the Department of Homeland Security determine the technical capabilities of a system that works to detect biological attacks before DHS introduces upgrades to the platform.

GAO’s recommendation follows a finding that DHS did not craft performance requirements that would allow the agency to analyze test results and evaluate the capability of the BioWatch Gen-2 system to detect biological attacks, the congressional audit agency said in a report released Nov. 23.

According to the report, DHS’ dependence on the use of simulated biological agents and chamber testing process limits the capability of the agency to test the performance of the BioWatch Gen-2 platform.

GAO also called on DHS to address sensitivity requirements, information technology system security and false positive readings before it deploys an autonomous detection tool as an upgrade to the system.

DHS should also work to implement best practices related to testing of proposed enhancements to the BioWatch Gen-2 platform, according to the report.

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