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Performance Detail: HCQO (continued)

Performance Budget Submission for Congressional Justification, Fiscal

This appendix provides more detailed performance information for all HHS measures related to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's budget.

Program Support


Key Outputs

FY 2004 Actual

FY 2005 Actual

FY 2006

FY 2007

FY 2008 Target/Est.

FY 2009 Target/Est.

Out-Year Target/Est.






Get to Green on Strategic Management of Human Capital Initiative

Developed plan to recruit new or train existing staff

Cascade performance management system

Reduced mission support positions by 11 Full Time Equivalent (FTE)

Assess core competency and leadership models

Identify strategies to infuse new talent into Agency programs

Completed assessment of core competency and leadership models

Identified strategies to infuse new talent into AHRQ

Implement HHS Performance Improvement Initiative

Completed implementation of HHS Performance Improvement Initiative

Develop core competencies for selected Agency staff and develop strategies for implementation

Fully implement Departmental Learning Management System (LMS) for training and development needs

Maintain status for Strategic Management of Human Capital Initiative


Maintain a low risk improper payment risk status

Com-pleted initial AHRQ Improper Payment Risk Assessment

Updated AHRQ Improper Payment Risk Assessment

Increased awareness of risk management within AHRQ

Participate in Department A-123 Internal Control efforts

Participated in Department A-123 Internal Control efforts related to improper payments

Continue to participate in Department A-123 Internal Control efforts

Continued to participate in Department A-123 Internal Control efforts

Complete all requirements related to OMB revised Circular A-123

Begin to update internal controls following AHRQ's conversion to Unified Financial Management System (UFMS)

Complete updating of all internal controls following AHRQ's conversion to UFMS

Maintain status for low risk improper payment risk status


Expand E-government by increasing Information Technology (IT) Organizational Capability

Implemented the control review cycle and the evaluation cycle

Integrated capital planning processes with Enterprise Architecture processes (EA)

Fully Implemented integrated EA, Capital Planning and investment review processes

Work towards level 3 maturity in EA

Completed level 3 maturity in EA as directed by HHS

Develop fully integrated Project Management Office with standardized processes and artifact


Extend PMO operations and concepts to AHRQ IT investments

Fully meet milestones established for E-government green status for FY 09

Maintain status for Expanding E-government


Improve IT Security/Privacy Output

Refined risk assessments

Implemented business continuity and contingency program plans

Developed authentication program plan

Fully integrated security approach EA and capital planning process

Test and insure maintenance of security level

Performed required testing to insure maintenance of security level

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 application

Certify and accredit all Level 3 information systems

Review and update security program to reflect current guidance and mandates

Integrate and align AHRQ's security program with HHS's Secure One security program

Maintain status for Improved IT Security/Privacy Output


Establish IT Enterprise Architecture

Target architecture developed

Migration plan created

Integrated EA processes with capital planning processes

Used EA to derive gains in business value and improve performance related to AHRQ mission

Level 3 maturity in EA

Began work towards Level 3 maturity in EA as defined by HHS

Continue Level 3 EA plan

Completed Level 3 EA plan

Implement Level 3 EA plan

Comply with EA activity as defined by HHS

Comply with HHS EA requirements

Maintain status for HHS EA requirements


Get to Green and maintain status for Performance Improvement initiative

Planning System Implemented phase for tracking budget and performance

Implemented additional phases of Planning System

Design and pilot software for facilitating budget and performance integration

Visual Performance Suite software designed and piloted

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

Continue implementation of software within the portfolios

Maintain "Green" status on Program Improvement initiative

Maintain status for Program Improvement initiative


Appropriated Amount
($ Million)

$2.7 M

$2.7 M

$2.7 M

$2.7 M

$2.7 M

$2.7 M

$2.7 M

$2.7 M


This budget activity supports the overall direction and management of the AHRQ. Five major government-wide initiatives comprise the President's Management Agenda (PMA): Strategic Management of Human Capital; Competitive Sourcing; Improved Financial Performance; Expanded E-Government; and Performance Improvement Initiative.

For each of these initiatives, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) prepares a scorecard consisting of "green, yellow, and red lights" reflecting Departmental status and progress in meeting the standards for success for an individual initiative. In shorthand terms, the standards for success are collectively known as "Getting to Green". AHRQ has instituted a systematic approach to addressing and implementing the President's Management Agenda by working to achieve the goals set forth by HHS as part of its internal Scorecard process.

Strategic Management of Human Capital

AHRQ is currently green in this PMA activity—with a progress rating of green as well.� The FY 2007 target for this PMA activity was to implement the HHS Performance Management Program (PMAP). This target was successfully completed. The current rating period began in January 2007 and will end in December 2007. Utilizing an automated performance management system (GoalOwner), all non-SES employees have been placed on a plan with quantifiable measures, outcomes, and expected results. AHRQ staff is working closely with Departmental officials to select a vendor which will be used throughout HHS to automate the performance management process. Once that decision is made, AHRQ will begin to "sunset" the GoalOwner system and migrate towards the new automated performance management system.� In FY 2008, this PMA activity will: work toward core competency assessment, development and implementation for our mission critical activities; and assess the performance management system and propose modifications to improve the program and process based on comments and feedback from our Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Program Activity Assessment Tool (PAAT) assessment.

Improve Financial Performance

AHRQ is currently yellow in this PMA activity—with a progress rating of green.� AHRQ anticipates Green status upon demonstration to the Office of Finance at HHS effective use of financial information to drive results in key areas of operations and when AHRQ develops and implements a plan to continuously expand the scope to additional areas of operations. AHRQ has successfully completed the FY 2007 target of examining and refining internal controls to address improving improper payments, including assessing controls over financial reporting. In FY 2008 AHRQ will continue participation in the Department's A-123 internal control efforts and to implement all corrective actions for deficiencies reported as a result of the FMFIA/A-123 internal control processes identified in FY 2007.

Expanding Electronic Government

AHRQ is currently green in this PMA activity—with a progress rating of green as well. AHRQ's major activities for this PMA activity include: 1) Government Paperwork Elimination Act (GPEA), 2) Security, and 3) Full participation in HHS PMA activities that intersect with the mission of the Agency. These activities continue to result in efficiencies in time and improvement in quality. 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 of the agency.
  • Ensure AHRQ's IT initiatives are aligned with departmental and agency enterprise architectures.�Utilizing HHS defined Federal Health Architecture (FHA) and HHS Enterprise Architectures, AHRQ ensures that all internal and contracted application initiatives are consistent with the technologies and standards adopted by HHS. This uniformity improves application integration (leveraging of existing systems) as well as reducing cost and development time.
  • Provide quality customer service and operations support to AHRQ's centers, offices and outside stakeholders. This objective entails providing uniform tools, methods; processes and standards to ensure all projects and programs are effectively managed utilizing industry best practices. These practices include Presidential Management Intern (PMI) (Project Management Body of Knowledge [PMBOK], Earned Value Management [EVM]), Rational Unified Process (RUP) (Software Development Life Cycle [SDLC]), Capital Planning and Investment Control (CPIC), and Enterprise Architecture (EA). These practices have appreciably improved AHRQ's ability to satisfy project objectives to include cost and schedule.
  • Ensure the protection of all AHRQ data, commiserate with legislation and OMB directives.�AHRQ has modified the systems development life-cycle to ensure that security is addressed throughout each project phase. Additionally, AHRQ is in the process of Certifying and Accrediting all Tier 3 systems to ensure compliance with OMB and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) directives and guidance. Last, AHRQ has implemented Department mandated full disk encryption utilizing Pointsec encryption tool for all mobile computers. In FY 2008, AHRQ performance goals will focus on reviewing and updating all security programs to ensure they comply with current guidance and mandates.

Performance Improvement Initiative

AHRQ is currently green in this PMA activity—with a progress rating of green as well. 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 has begun to create 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. 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.

The implementation of strong budget and performance integration practices will continue 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 five 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®); and the Patient Safety program. The Pharmaceutical Outcomes Portfolio was the latest program to undergo a PART review.� 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.

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Page last reviewed February 2008
Internet Citation: Performance Detail: HCQO (continued): Performance Budget Submission for Congressional Justification, Fiscal . February 2008. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


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