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AHRQ Annual Report on Research and Management, FY 2002

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Message from the Chief Financial Officer

I am proud of the Agency's FY 2002 efforts to develop more efficient and effective ways to fulfill our mission while maintaining and protecting the integrity of the resources entrusted to us. This report highlights our major programmatic and managerial accomplishments, with the focus on addressing the five President's Management Agenda (PMA) initiatives: strategic management of human capital, competitive sourcing, improved financial performance, expanded electronic government, and budget and performance integration.

We initiated many activities in FY 2002 to address the PMA. Our strategic workforce planning included assessing future workload analyses and gaps in work activities; developing competency models to assist in recruitment, selection, development, and performance assessment activities; and developing a multi-year strategy that outlines goals and action plans that focus on how the Agency conducts its work and how well the existing structure, technology, and systems support this work. In addition, through administrative consolidation and management delayering, we reduced the number of supervisors/managers by 20 percent through FY 2002, and additional organizational streamlining is in the planning stages.

In 2002, we began development of an integrated e-Government program with the goal of increasing gains in business performance. Activities centered on establishing the foundation for e-Government implementation and focused first and foremost on developing a comprehensive body of information technology policy. As an active member of the Steering Committee and the Planning and Development Committee, AHRQ is also participating in the development and implementation of the Department's Unified Financial Management System.

In accordance with PART, OMB's Program Assessment Rating Tool for the formal evaluation of Federal programs, we completed comprehensive program assessments of four key Agency programs in FY 2002: the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), the Consumer Assessment of Health Plans Study (CAHPS), and the grant component of AHRQ's Translation of Research into Practice Program. Our review of these programs provides the basis for the Agency to move forward in more closely linking high quality outcomes with associated program costs, with the ultimate goal being to use the performance data to better inform budget decisions.

Looking forward, we realize that much work remains to meet future financial management and program performance challenges. In the spirit of Secretary Thompson's initiative to make HHS "One Department," we will continue to promote actively a close, collaborative relationship with our program partners, OMB, and the Congress, as well as with our financial services provider, the Program Support Center. I believe this report demonstrates the strides AHRQ has made as we continue to work toward achieving the highest levels of accountability.

Lisa Simpson, M.B., B.Ch.
Chief Financial Officer

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