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Excel as a Federal Science Agency by Managing for Results
The NIDCD is a public science agency supported by federal funds. As part of the NIH, the NIDCD is obligated to base its decisions on science, and to make its decision-making process transparent. The NIDCD upholds its accountability to the American public by managing its scientific endeavors with an eye towards achieving results that improve the health of individuals with communication disorders. The NIDCD approaches this responsibility in several different ways, from its reporting as required by a U.S. Law called the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), to developing an administrative strategic plan to complement this NIDCD Strategic Plan, and by mitigating the risks involved with administering the NIDCD mission.
GPRA is a U.S. law enacted in 1993. It is designed to improve government performance management, and it requires agencies to manage their performance by setting goals, measuring results, and reporting their progress. To comply with GPRA, the NIH develops an annual plan proposing goals that provide a representative sample of NIH’s activities for each year and describes how these goals will be met, and later in the fiscal year, NIH provides evidence to support any claims for successful achievement of the goals. Each Institute and Center at NIH participates in the GPRA reporting process, including the NIDCD.
The NIDCD’s goal represents only one snapshot of NIDCD’s entire portfolio, but aligns with our Mission to improve the lives of people with communication disorders. The current NIDCD GPRA goal began in FY 2015 and states: By 2020, increase the number of potential treatment options for communication disorders that are being tested in clinical trials by adding one new treatment option per year. To comply with GPRA obligations for this particular goal under the law, the NIDCD proposes a distinct new treatment option that will be tested each fiscal year and then, at the end of that fiscal year, the NIDCD submits evidence that we have tested a new treatment option for a communication disorder. The NIH compiles NIDCD’s annual submission with those from all of the other NIH Institutes and Centers and presents it to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). OMB includes the NIH information in an annual report on government agency performance that accompanies the President’s annual budget request.
Another way that the NIDCD manages its public funds for results is by developing and using its NIDCD Administrative Strategic Plan. NIDCD staff examine current challenges at the Institute and develop an NIDCD Administrative Strategic Plan to address these challenges. The Plan helps the NIDCD manage its services in support of NIDCD’s mission, and it helps the NIDCD pursue transformative science by:
- Modeling innovative management approaches, encouraging collaboration and the free flow of information, and sharing best practices within and between the NIDCD offices;
- Improving employee quality of life and job satisfaction by implementing clear, consistent, customer-focused service practices;
- Managing services and resources using the principles of efficiency, effectiveness, and quality; and
- Providing better decision-making and transparency by setting goals and then looking back to determine if those goals have been met.
The NIDCD works to ensure that the dollars we invest get results by developing a Risk Management Plan. The plan examines NIDCD’s activities and assesses risks, establishes methods for control of those risks, monitors adherence to the risk-reduction methods, and mitigates risks that are involved with administering the NIDCD mission. The NIDCD plan tries to minimize the risk of failure in all of the NIDCD activities, and it is submitted each year as part of the overall NIH Enterprise Risk Management program.
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