Audit: Agencies Have Improved Emergency Preparedness
The California Department of Public Health and the Governor's Office of Emergency Services have improved their emergency preparedness and are no longer considered high-risk agencies, according to a new state audit, the Central Valley Business Times reports.
The audit was a follow-up to a 2013 report that had found major deficiencies in the departments' disaster preparedness (Central Valley Business Times, 10/15).
According to Capital Public Radio's "KXJZ News," the state auditor had labeled the departments -- which are responsible for preparing for and acting during state emergencies -- high risk because of:
- Funding issues;
- Lack of training;
- Lack of an overall strategy; and
- Staff turnover.
Overall, the new audit found that the two agencies now are better prepared to respond to emergencies (Bradford, "KXJZ News," Capital Public Radio, 10/15).
Specifically, the report found that DPH:
- Has improved its tracking of required staff training; and
- Now uses specific measures to monitor progress toward achieving specific objectives.
In addition, DPH's "federal funding has stabilized, allowing it to sustain its emergency preparedness capabilities," according to the report.
Meanwhile, OES has sufficiently improved its emergency planning efforts by updating its:
- Reporting on objectives and indicators related to emergency preparedness; and
- Strategic plan.
State Auditor Elaine Howle in the report said, "As a result of these improvements, we do not believe emergency preparedness at Public Health and Emergency Services should continue to be designated as an area of high risk under our state high-risk program." She added, "However, we will continue to monitor the issue at both agencies to ensure each maintains its emergency preparedness capabilities" (Central Valley Business Times, 10/15).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.