Program Support

Budget Estimates for Appropriations Committees, Fiscal Year 2010

This statement summarizes budget information submitted to Congress by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
FundingFY 2008 AppropriatedFY 2009
Omnibus
FY 2009
Recovery Act
FY 2010
President's
Budget Request
FY 2010
+/- FY 2009
Omnibus
TotalBudget Authority (BA)$0$0$0$0$0
Public Health Service (PHS) Evaluation Funds$2,700,000$2,700,000$0$2,700,000$0
(FTEs)2222222222

FY 2009 Authorization: Title III and IX and Section 937(c) of the Public Health Service Act.
Allocation Method: Contracts, and Other.

A. Program Description and Accomplishments

This budget activity supports the overall direction and management of the AHRQ.

Strategic Management of Human Capital

AHRQ participated in the Federal Human Capital Survey (FHCS) and is assessing the impact of the results at the Office/Center levels and communicating this information to staff. Additionally, Agency staff involved in the Making AHRQ Great Initiative (MAG) has been called upon to foster solutions and ensure issues on a large scale are resolved (e.g., themes which cut across AHRQ). An action plan is currently being developed which will address issues and concerns that were revealed through the survey.

Recently, AHRQ conducted forums to assess the current Performance Management Appraisal Program system (PMAP) and provided responses to the Department suggesting changes to the existing policy. In an effort to ensure full and open conversations, forums and questionnaires were utilized to obtain feedback from managers and employees. Notable suggestions included weighting of the performance elements and implementation of a five tiered appraisal system. AHRQ recently engaged in testing of the new automated performance management application and conducted a pilot test with a small group of staff in the Agency. AHRQ continues to support workforce development programs and initiatives through competency assessment, development and implementation for mission critical activities. The Agency identified a need for, and implemented mandatory Project Management training for all AHRQ staff and participated in the Department-wide effort to identify and establish core competencies across OPDIVs/STAFFDIVs. Finally, AHRQ continues to strive towards meeting the OPM 45-day timeline for hiring and notifying applicants to SES and non-SES vacancies. We are working in collaboration with the Rockville Human Resources Center to ensure timelines are met and we consistently inform selecting officials of this requirement through the issuance of action due dates upon release of certificates identifying eligible applicants.

Improve Financial Performance

AHRQ is working to demonstrate to the Office of Finance at HHS effective use of financial information to drive results in key areas of operations and to develop and implement a plan to
continuously expand the scope to additional areas of operations. AHRQ has completed the review and updating of all internal controls in light of the transition to an integrated, department wide financial management solution—the Unified Financial Management System (UFMS). In addition, AHRQ continued to participate in the Department's A-123 internal control efforts and implemented all corrective actions for deficiencies reported as a result of the FMFIA/A-123 internal control processes identified in FY 2008. In FY 2009, AHRQ is also working to update all internal controls based on the transition to the HHS Consolidated Acquisition Solution (HCAS). HCAS is the standardized acquisition system that will be used across multiple OPDIVs, including AHRQ. Finally, AHRQ continues to maintain a low-risk status for improper payments.

Electronic Government

AHRQ's current activities include:

  • Ongoing development of policies and procedures that link AHRQ's IT initiatives directly to the mission and performance goals of the Agency. Our governance structure ensures that all IT initiatives are not undertaken without the consent and approval of AHRQ Senior Management and prioritized based upon the strategic goals and research priorities of the agency.
  • Ensuring AHRQ's IT initiatives are aligned with departmental and agency enterprise architectures. Utilizing HHS defined FHA and HHS Enterprise Architectures, AHRQ ensures
    that all internal and contracted application initiatives are consistent with the technologies and standards and adopted by HHS as well as OMB directives. This uniformity improves
    application integration (leveraging of existing systems) as well as reducing cost and development time.
  • Providing quality customer service and operations support to AHRQ's centers, offices and outside stakeholders. This objective entails providing uniform tools, methods, processes,
    practices and standards to ensure all projects and programs are effectively managed utilizing industry best practices. These practices include PMI (PMBOK, EVM), RUP (SDLC), CPIC, and EA. These practices have appreciably improved AHRQ's ability to satisfy project objectives to include cost and schedule.
  • Ensuring the protection of AHRQ data; commensurate with current and future legislation and OMB directives. AHRQ's security program goals focus on executing the defined goals developed in our strategic and tactical plans which are targeted at three key areas: People, Process and Technology. These goals include but are not limited to: implementation of LOB Information and Security and Privacy Awareness training, System Development Life Cycle and FIPS 140-2 compliant encryption solutions. AHRQ continues to ensure 98 percent or higher of AHRQ's employees will complete the LOB Information Security and Privacy Awareness training. AHRQ will continue to follow the modified systems development lifecycle to ensure that security is addressed throughout each project phase. The Agency will deploy encryption solutions for mobile devices, removable media, and data and will ensure FDCC settings are applied to all desktops, laptops, and ensure servers are deployed with departmental approved standard security settings.

Performance Improvement

General program direction is accomplished through the collaboration of the Office of the Director and the offices and centers that have programmatic responsibility for portions of the Agency's research portfolio. AHRQ created a framework to provide a more thoughtful and strategic alignment of its activities. This framework represents the Agency's collaborative efforts on strategic opportunities for growth and synergy. As the result of increased emphasis on strategic planning, the Agency continues the shift from a focus on output and process measurement to a focus on outcome measures where feasible. These outcome measures cascade down from our strategic goal areas of safety/quality, effectiveness, efficiency and organizational excellence.

Portfolios of work (combinations of activities that make up the bulk of our investments) support the achievement of our highest-level outcomes.

Performance data will be tracked electronically using the Agency's electronic performance tracking system and published as soon as it becomes available. Also, work will continue with
program staff to establish and display a close alignment of projects and how they support AHRQ's performance measures and the Department's strategic goal areas.

In FY 2008 and FY 2009, AHRQ continued the implementation of strong budget and performance integration practices through the use of structured Project Management processes. AHRQ has begun a campaign to design and implement a quality improvement process for managing major programs that support the Agency's strategic goals and Departmental strategic goals and specific objectives.

AHRQ has successfully completed comprehensive program assessments on six key programs within the Agency: The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS); the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP); the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Plans Survey (CAHPS®); the Patient Safety portfolio; the Pharmaceutical Outcomes portfolio; and most recently the Health Information and Technology portfolio. These reviews provide the basis for the Agency to move forward in more closely linking high quality outcomes with associated costs of programs. Over the next few years, the Agency will focus on fully integrating financial management of these programs with their performance.

B. Funding History

Funding for the Program Support budget activity during the last five years has been as follows:

YearDollars
2005$2,700,000
2006$2,700,000
2007$2,700,000
2008$2,700,000
2009$2,700,000


C. Budget Request

The FY 2010 President's Budget Request for Program Support totals $2,700,000, the same level of support as the prior year. In FY 2010, AHRQ will:

  • Fully implement the Departmental Learning Management System (LMS) for training and development needs (Strategic Management of Human Capital); and
  • Complete updating of all internal controls following AHRQ's conversion to HCAS (Improve Financial Management).

D. Outputs and Outcomes Tables

Program: Program Support

Long-Term Objective: Improve performance in all areas of Program Support.

MeasuresFYTargetResult
5.1.1: Improve AHRQ's strategic
management of human capital
(Output)
2010Upon Departmental approval,
fully implement the new HHS-
wide automated performance
management system
Oct 31, 2010
2009Fully implement Departmental
Learning Management System
(LMS) for training and
development needs
N/A
2008Develop core competencies for
selected Agency staff and
develop strategies for
implementation
Core competencies
developed and
implementation strategies
completed
(Target Met)
2007Implement HHS Performance
Improvement Initiative
Completed implementation
of HHS Performance
Improvement Initiative
(Target Met)
2006N/A

Completed assessment of
core competency and leadership
models

Identified strategies to infuse
new talent into AHRQ
(Target Met)

2005N/AGet to Green on Strategic
Management of Human
Capital Initiative
(Target Met)
5.1.2: Maintain a low-risk improper
payment risk status
(Output)
2010Complete updating of all
internal controls following
AHRQ's conversion to HCAS
Oct 31, 2010
2009Complete updating of all
internal controls following
AHRQ's conversion to the
Unified Financial Management
System (UFMS)
Oct 31, 2009
2008

Complete all requirements
related to OMB revised Circular
A-123

Begin to update internal controls
following AHRQ's conversion to
UFMS

Requirements related to
OMB revised Circular

Continued to update internal
controls
(Target Met)

2007Continue to participate in
Department A-123 Internal
Control efforts
Continued to participate in
Department A-123 Internal
Control efforts
(Target Met)
2006N/AParticipated in Department
A-123 Internal Control efforts
related to improper
payments
(Target Met)
2005N/A

Updated AHRQ Improper
Payment Risk Assessment

Increased awareness of risk
management within AHRQ
(Target Met)

5.1.3: Expand E-government by
increasing IT organizational
capability
(Output)
2010TBDOct 31, 2010
2009TBDOct 31, 2009
2008Extend Project Management
Office (PMO) operations and
concepts to AHRQ IT
investments
Ongoing
(Target Met)
2007Develop fully integrated PMO
with standardized processes
and artifact
Ongoing
(Target Met)
2006N/ACompleted level 3 maturity in
EA as directed by HHS
(Target Met)
2005N/AFully implemented integrated
EA, capital planning, and
investment review processes
(Target Met)
5.1.4: Improve IT Security/Privacy
Output
(Output)
2010

Fully implement FDCC and
standard security
configurations of all systems

Implement FIPS 140-2
encryption solution on all
systems to protect sensitive
information

Oct 31, 2010
2009Integrate and align AHRQ's
security program with HHS's
Secure One security program
Oct 31, 2009
2008

Certify and accredit all Level 3
information systems

Review and update security
program to reflect current
guidance and mandates

Certified and accredited all
Level 3 information systems

Reviewed and updated
security program
(Target Met)

2007

Certify and accredit all Level 2
information systems

Begin implementation of Public
Key Infrastructure with
applications

Certified and accredited all
Level 2 information systems

Began implementation of
Public Key Infrastructure with
applications
(Target Met)

2006N/APer-formed required testing
to insure maintenance of
security level
(Target Met)
2005N/AFully integrated security
approach EA and capital
planning process
(Target Met)
5.1.5: Establish IT Enterprise
Architecture
(Output)
2010Comply with HHS EA
requirements for FY 2010
Oct 31, 2010
Oct 31, 2010
2009Comply with HHS EA
requirements
N/A
2008

Implement Level 3 EA plan

Comply with EA activity as
defined by HHS

Implemented Level 3 EA plan

Continued to comply with EA
activity set forth by HHS
(Target Met)

2007Continue Level 3 EA planCompleted Level 3 EA plan
(Target Met)
2006N/ABegan work towards Level 3
maturity in EA as defined by
HHS
(Target Met)
2005N/AUsed EA to derive gains in
business value and improve
performance related to
AHRQ mission
(Target Met)
5.1.6: Meet all performance goals
related to performance and
budget integration
(Output)
2010TBDOct 31, 2010
2009TBDOct 31, 2009
2008Continue implementation of
software within the portfolios
Continued implementation of
software within the portfolios
(Target Met)
2007

Begin implementation of
software within the portfolios of
work to help facilitate budget
and performance integration

Conduct internal alignment of
measures by strategic goal
areas

Began to implement software
with the portfolios

Completed internal
alignment of measures
(Target Met)

2006N/AVisual Performance Suite
software designed and
piloted
(Target Met)
2005N/AImplemented additional
phases of Planning System
(Target Met)
MeasureData SourceData Validation
5.1.1Departmental quarterly updatesAs the beta site for the Department's Performance
Management Appraisal Program (PMAP), AHRQ
was required to complete the Performance
Appraisal Assessment Tool (PAAT). Out of 100
total points possible, the Agency scored an 87
which, according to OPM, is considered as having
"effectiveness characteristics present"—the
highest level possible under this rating system.
5.1.2Departmental quarterly updates; UFMS,
IMPAC II, and Payment Management System
SAS 70 Reviews, A-123 reviews, and A-133 audits
5.1.3
5.1.4
5.1.5
Departmental quarterly updatesCompliance with Departmental standards
5.1.6Departmental quarterly updatesCompliance with Departmental standards; AHRQ
logic models and Portfolio plans
 
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Current as of May 2009
Internet Citation: Program Support: Budget Estimates for Appropriations Committees, Fiscal Year 2010. May 2009. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/cpi/about/mission/budget/2010/prog10.html