The Federal Experts Security Advisory Panel (FESAP) was established by Executive Order 13546 on July 2, 2010 to provide recommendations related to the security of biological select agents and toxins (BSAT) to the Secretaries of Health and Human Services and Agriculture and the Attorney General. BSAT are defined in the Select Agent Regulations (42 CFR Part 73, 9 CFR Part 121, and 7 CFR Part 331). The FESAP successfully completed the tasks enumerated by Executive Order 13546 and released the FESAP: Recommendations Concerning the Select Agent Program report detailing the recommendations on November 2, 2010. In July 2014, the FESAP was re-chartered to evaluate approaches to enhance biosafety and biosecurity in the United States.
Recent incidents involving BSAT have raised serious safety and security policy issues. The White House National Security Council (NSC) staff tasked the FESAP, in September 2014, to 1) identify needs and gaps and make recommendations to optimize biosafety, biosecurity, oversight, and inventory management and control for BSAT; 2) identify actions and any regulatory changes to improve biosafety and biosecurity; and 3) identify an approach to determine the appropriate number of high-containment U.S. laboratories required to possess, use, or transfer BSAT. The NSC requested that the FESAP provide recommended actions to the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, and the Assistant to the President for Science and Technology within 90 days of receiving the tasking. Recommendations were finalized in the Report of the Federal Experts Security Advisory Panel dated December 2014. The USG has developed a plan to implement the FESAP's recommended actions. The USG expects that implementing the recommended actions will strengthen biosafety and biosecurity practices and oversight activities.
The Federal Experts Security Advisory Panel has developed a Best Practices Checklist to guide Federal departments and agencies through a comprehensive set of questions that should be considered while planning and building a high-containment laboratory. Other institutions may also use this checklist as a way to ensure that they are aware of all possible elements of biocontainment.
The information provided on this page, including reports and recommendations, reflects the consensus views of the FESAP membership and not necessarily the views of their respective Departments, Agencies, and Offices, including the Federal Select Agent Program. Any recommendations requiring regulatory change, if accepted by the Select Agent Program, will be published in the Federal Register as part of the rulemaking process. The public will have an opportunity to comment on the proposed rules at that time.