HARRISBURG – The House State Government Committee has approved Rep. Clint Owlett’s (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter) legislation requiring an in-depth review of the Commonwealth’s pandemic response.
Specifically, House Bill 1264
focuses on personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as the administration of COVID-19 tests and vaccines.
“I know we are all looking forward to putting the pandemic behind us, and each day, we take another step toward that goal,” Owlett said. “But before we can put it behind us completely, we must look objectively at every aspect of our response, assess what was good and bad, and learn from it so we are better prepared if or when something like this happens again.”
Under the bill, administration officials – including the Department of General Services, in consultation with the adjutant general of the Commonwealth; the secretary of health; and the director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency – would be required to submit a report to legislative leaders that includes a review of the number and types of COVID-19 tests, and the number and types of COVID-19 vaccines, administered to residents of the Commonwealth.
The report would also include a thorough review of the PPE purchased or acquired by the Commonwealth or its agencies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The review would be required to include the following:
• The types of personal protective equipment acquired.
• The number of items of each type of personal protective equipment.
• The number of items of each type of personal protective equipment which was distributed prior to the date of the report.
• The number of items of each type of personal protective equipment which remains in the possession of the Commonwealth as of the date of the report.
• The amount and source of the money used to purchase personal protective equipment to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
• The amount and source of personal protective equipment donated to, or otherwise acquired by, the Commonwealth at no charge to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Commonwealth has amassed a substantial stockpile of PPE that is being stored at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, and we’ve been given little information about how much there is and what the administration plans to do with it next,” Owlett said. “Transparency about the PPE supply, as well as with the administration of COVID-19 tests and vaccines, is vital to ensuring accountability to the taxpayers.”
The bill now goes to the full House for consideration.
Representative Clint Owlett
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Patricia Hippler