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Congress members voice doubts about BioWatch

LA Times

Democrats on the House Homeland Security Committee and a senior Republican colleague voiced grave doubts Thursday about the viability of BioWatch, the nation’s system for detecting biological attacks that has been plagued by false alarms. Committee members endorsed a new report from the Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan investigative arm of Congress, that bluntly faulted the Department of Homeland Security’s management of BioWatch and recommended that contracting for a multibillion-dollar overhaul be halted while plans are reevaluated. Lawmakers reacted skeptically to assurances that Homeland Security officials would indeed reassess the next phase of BioWatch, called Generation 3.