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The Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 (9/11 Commission Act) established The National Biosurveillance Integration Center (NBIC) within the Department of Homeland Security for integrating and coordinating information on biological events of national significance. The 9/11 Commission Act requirements for the NBIC were:
- Consolidate data from all relevant surveillance systems maintained by member agencies across human, animal, and plant domains
- Seek private sources of surveillance when such sources would enhance coverage of gaps
- Use an IT system with the best available statistical and other analytical tools to identify and characterize biological events of national concern in as close to real time as practical
- Provide the infrastructure for integration including IT systems and space, and support for personnel from member agencies with sufficient expertise to analyze and interpret data
- Work with member agencies to create IT systems that use the minimum amount of patient data necessary and consider patient confidentiality and privacy in all stages of development
- Alert member agencies as well as public health agencies of state, local, and tribal governments (in coordination with or through member agencies) of incidents that could develop into a biological event of national concern
The center is tasked with enhancing the capability of the federal government to rapidly identify, characterize, localize, and track biological events of national concern by integrating and analyzing data related to human health, animal, plant, food, and environmental monitoring systems, and to disseminate alerts if any such events are detected.
A central responsibility is to develop and oversee the National Biosurveillance Integration System, a federal interagency consortium and information management concept that was established to integrate and analyze biosurveillance-relevant information to achieve earlier detection and enhanced situational awareness.
The Center integrates bio-monitoring activities of executive branch departments to provide a biological common operating picture and facilitate earlier detection of adverse events and trends. This Center fuses information from more than 12 federal agencies and state, local, private sector, and international sources of biosurveillance data on human, animal, plant, and environmental health to provide early warnings of a possible biological attack or a pandemic.