Published: August 7, 2007
Like all efficient businesses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducts annual property inventories to determine the status of all accountable property items. The agency currently has more than 54,000 items of accountable property in its inventory representing an original purchase cost of nearly $366 million.
This property is distributed among CDC's facilities globally in over 50 countries and nationally in 28 U.S. cities, more than 60 campuses, and more than 400 buildings. The custody of CDC's property resides with many of CDC's roughly 9,000 employees and approximately 4,500 onsite contractors carrying out CDC work. Responsibility for managing the inventory of this property is assigned to 845 property custodians. As a result, the magnitude and widespread distribution of CDC's property worldwide presents unique challenges in property inventory management, especially the accounting of transfer of property from one custodian to another.
CDC takes its accountability seriously in this and all other areas of our health mission. Recently, CDC reported to Congress that the agency is continuing the process of accounting for approximately $22 million dollars of inventory during 2006 and 2007. Unfortunately, some media reports have mischaracterized this property as missing, which is completely false. This property simply has not been inventoried. Late in 2006 and early 2007, CDC increased its effort to identify additional accountable property and, as a result, the quantity of uninventoried items have been significantly reduced by over 50% as of August 7, 2007. This process will continue until all the property is accounted for.
CDC has instituted a system of checks and balances which will ensure proper property tracking methods are in place for now and in the future. We will begin implementing a new 13 point property accountability program that puts more discipline in the system. And all Chief Management Officials and Business Service Office Directors must immediately validate property custodial officer's assignments and their accounts.
Most importantly we also recognize the need for a comprehensive system to track property and will look to implement new systems of accountability and real-time assessment that move beyond the old systems. We will implement new systems as applicable.
CDC's highest priority is maintaining the publics trust and fiscal stewardship and effective property management comes with that responsibility.