FY 2022 Annual Performance Plan and Report - Major Management Priorities

Fiscal Year 2022
Released June, 2021

Topics on this page: Major Management Priorities

Major Management Priorities

In the previous administration, the Department identified four Major Management Priorities:

  • Moving to a 21st Century Workforce
  • Restoring Market Forces
  • Making HHS More Innovative and Responsive
  • Generating Efficiencies through Streamlined Services

Below HHS has provided detailed information on its progress with each initiative, including performance goals, performance indicators, and milestones.

Moving to a 21st Century Workforce

Supporting Initiative: Maximize Talent

The Maximize Talent Initiative aimed to transform HHS's business processes and practices to meet modern-day human capital management and human resources operational challenges now and in the future.  Through the Maximize Talent efforts, the Initiative enhanced the Department's most important resource – its people.  The transformation focused on three primary goals:

  1. Optimizing HR Service Delivery by exploring ways to standardize core HR processes and implementing more efficient, effective, customer-focused, and cost-effective service delivery models.
  2. Transforming the Employee Performance and Engagement Culture by taking steps to institutionalize an environment that empowers and engages employees to maximize their talents to their full potential and enhance our performance management program to motivate, reward, and recognize high performance.
  3. Modernizing Human Resources Information Technology Infrastructure by upgrading and integrating enterprise IT systems that support the workforce and increase the data available to inform management decision-making.

Salient accomplishments under the Maximize Talent Initiative include:

  • Envisioned a culture of accountability and data-driven decision making to improve workforce conditions and took action to achieve that vision:
    • HHS FEVS Employee Participation increased by 14.7 percentage points to 71.9 percent
    • HHS Employee Engagement Index increased by 0.7 percentage points to 73.5 percent;
    • Effective Communication Index increased by 0.8 percentage points to 71.2 percent; and
    • Global Satisfaction increased by 0.5 percentage points to 71.7 percent.
  • Implemented a simplified recruitment process in the District of Columbia Human Resources Center, which included sharing certificates with multiple managers with similar hiring needs to expedite the hiring process.  The simplified recruitment process reduced the average time to issue a certificate of eligible candidates to hiring officials using the new shared certificates process from 140 calendar days, on average, to 65.5 calendar days, on average and decreased the time-to-hire by saving 74.5 calendar days, on average, in the hiring process.  Since February 2019, 80% of candidates were selected from simplified recruitments; with a 200% increase in number of new hires on-boarded.
  • Implemented two pilots of Better Assessment Tools for Better Quality Candidates in partnership with OPM, including USA Hire, purchased now for use Enterprise-wide; and Subject Matter Expert Quality Assurance in collaboration with US Digital Services - HHS Office of the Chief Information Officer and Office of the Chief Technology Officer selected 35+ qualified candidates to fill critical vacancies.
  • Transitioned SES performance management from manual, paper-based processes to electronic system in October 2018, automating all tracking/reporting for SES HHS-wide.
  • Successfully launched the Enterprise Human Capital Management system upgrade from PeopleSoft 8.9 to 9.2 in May 2019, creating a lasting baseline for managing HHS personnel transaction and reporting, using a single enterprise cloud-based solution.

On September 30, 2019, HHS transitioned the work of the Maximize Talent Initiative to the Strategic Initiatives Group (SIG) within the Office of Human Resources (OHR).  SIG is responsible for coordination, communication, development, and implementation of transformational and strategic initiatives for OHR.  SIG activities focus on Maximize Talent's three primary goals: Optimizing HR Service Delivery; Modernizing HR Information Technology; and Improving the Employee Performance and Engagement Culture at HHS.  OHR will continue to identify, pilot, scale improvements and reforms across HHS through the SIG.

Designated Official: Bahar Niakan, Former Initiative Lead, Deputy Chief Human Capital Officer

Performance Goal: Increase overall HHS employee participation in the FEVS survey, as well as the overall Employee Engagement Index Score by August 2019.

Data Source and Validation: Employee Engagement Score and Participation Rate from FEVS Survey. Validated by OPM.

Performance Indicator: FEVS Employee Engagement Index52
  FY 2015 FY 2016 FY 2017 FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020 FY 2021 FY 2022
Target N/A N/A 70% 72.5% 73% 75% 73% 73%
Result N/A N/A 72.2% 72.8% 73.5% 1/31/21 12/31/21 12/31/22
Status N/A N/A Target Exceeded Target Exceeded Target Exceeded Pending Pending Pending
Performance Indicator:FEVS Employee Participation 53
  FY 2015 FY 2016 FY 2017 FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020 FY 2021 FY 2022
Target N/A N/A 54% 56% 58% 60% TBD TBD
Result N/A N/A 58.5% 57.2% 71.9% 9/30/20 9/30/21 9/30/22
Status N/A N/A Target Exceeded Target Exceeded Target Exceeded Pending Pending Pending
  Milestones Planned Completion Date Status
1. 2019 FEVS guidance from the ASA to OPDIV and STAFFDIV Heads and Executive Officers 10/31/2018 Completed
2. Held Employee Engagement Forum Kickoff 10/17/2018 Completed
3. Held FEVS Program Managers Best Practice Exchange 11/01/2018 Completed
4. Provided pre-populated OPM reporting template to FEVS Program Managers 11/06/2018 Completed
5. Compiled initial report of HHS 20 by 20 by 2020 data for submission to OPM 11/15/2018 Completed
6. Submit HHS Report to OPM 11/23/2018 Completed
7. ASA/CHCO Endorsement of "Sprint to 2019" and "Marathon to 2020" 11/23/2018 Completed
8. Set Up EVS ART Training for OpDiv/StaffDiv 01/19/2018 Completed
9. Leaders at all levels present FEVS data to work units and commit to action. 03/31/2019 Completed
10. Collect insight on employee engagement from the employee perspective. 02/28/2019 Completed
11. Release a call for Organization Development services/providers to support SPRINT 2019 02/28/2018 Completed
12. Managers and supervisors lead work units in action planning for quick sprint improvement. 03/29/2019 Completed
13. Active, visible, and meaningful action to improve employee engagement. 04/30/2019 Completed
14. Encourage participation in the FEVS. 06/21/2019 Completed
15. Employ long term strategies for success including FEVS Program Manager offsite, lessons learned from SPRINT to 2019, assessment of FEVS program metrics (leading and lag indicators), continued engagement of Employee Engagement Community of Practice, and other 06/21/2019 - 08/30/2020 Ongoing

Restoring Market Forces

Supporting Initiative: Bring Common Sense to Food Regulation; Enhance state produce safety infrastructure to improve farm compliance with Produce Safety Rule.

The Bring Common Sense to Food Regulation Initiative aimed to increase collaboration between food regulatory programs to minimize dual jurisdiction and improve state produce safety infrastructure.  To address these issues, this Initiative consisted of two sub-Initiatives: Regulatory Oversight and State Produce Safety Infrastructure.  The objective of the State Produce Safety Infrastructure sub-Initiative was to fully develop and implement a state produce safety infrastructure to assist FDA in implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety regulations.  The core objective of the Regulatory Oversight sub-Initiative was to increase regulatory efficiency and advance food safety in the context of "dual jurisdiction establishments," where the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service both have jurisdiction to conduct food inspections and exercise oversight.  FDA is working on joint efforts between USDA and FDA to reduce the duplication of inspections and create efficiencies with regulatory oversight.  This includes the consolidation and updating of existing memorandums of understanding between the agencies and the creation of a Field Management Directive.

On September 30, 2019, HHS transitioned the work of this Initiative to the Office of Regulatory Affairs and the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition within FDA.  In ongoing efforts to implement the FSMA, FDA has provided over $133 million in support to 48 grantees (47 states and 1 territory) to conduct outreach as well as establish regulatory programs.  By working with states to develop these programs and having states conduct their own inspection and compliance/enforcement work, FDA is working towards building an Integrated Food Safety System where states and FDA can mutually rely on each other's work.  As a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic, FDA imposed a Stop Work Order on the Produce Safety Cooperative Agreement between March 22, 2020 through June 5, 2020.  The Stop Work Order limited all face to face work grantees of the program could conduct.  As a result, the number of produce inspections conducted in this period is less than expected, but the outcome still exceeded the target.

Designated Official: Erik P. Mettler, Former Initiative Lead, Assistant Commissioner for Partnerships and Policy

Performance Goal: Create a more effective and efficient food safety system by partnering and leveraging the role of the states in improving produce safety as measured by 85 percent of states and territories (out of 55 total, 50 states and 5 territories) participating in the Produce Safety Implementation Cooperative Agreement Program (State CAP) by September 30, 2019.

Data Source and Validation: State CAP

Performance Indicator: Number of States and Territories (Grantees) Participating in State CAP54
  FY 2015 FY 2016 FY 2017 FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020 FY 2021
Target N/A Baseline Baseline 47 47 48 Discontinued
Result N/A 42 43 47 48 48 N/A
Status N/A Actual Actual Target Met Target Exceeded Target Met N/A

Performance Goal: Create a more effective and efficient food safety system by increasing the role of the states in improving produce safety as measured by an increase in inspections being conducted by state partners participating in  State CAP by December 31, 2021.

Data Source and Validation: State inspection reporting.

Performance Indicator: Number of Inspections being conducted by State Partners Participating in State CAP55,
  FY 2015 FY 2016 FY 2017 FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020 FY 2021
Target N/A N/A N/A N/A Baseline Result +10% Result
Result N/A N/A N/A N/A 219 1,190 06/30/22
Status N/A N/A N/A N/A Actual Target Exceeded Pending
  Milestones Planned Completion Date Status
1. Complete detailed assessment of state produce regulatory programs, to include projected availability of resources and jurisdictional assessment. 06/2019 Completed
2. Develop plan(s) that includes: potential funding sources, business practices, funding opportunity announcements, monitoring job aids, partners for leveraging, outreach opportunities, and measures of success. 12/2019 Completed
3. Execution of plan (s) 06/2021 In Process/On-Track

Making HHS More Innovative and Responsive

Supporting Initiative: Optimize NIH

The Optimize NIH Initiative aimed to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of administrative functions for employees and the agency in support of the NIH mission.  Optimize NIH is focused on administrative areas that could be more effective and efficient if: 1) managed enterprise-wide, 2) managed through service centers, or 3) harmonized.

Optimize NIH initially focused its efforts on achieving enterprise-wide efficiencies in: Committee Management, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and Ethics.  Harmonization was achieved through implementation of a standard format for Institutes and Centers to use as they update their Strategic Plans to be in alignment with the overall NIH Strategic Plan.

The remaining functional areas of Acquisitions, Information Technology Security, Title 42(f) Processing, Travel, and Property functions are optimizing using a combination of strategies best suited for each business area.

Salient accomplishments under Optimize NIH include:

  • Expanded the Committee Management Module (CMM) within existing Electronic Research Administration grants systems to add functionality and made it available for select stakeholders in a sandbox environment in September 2020.  Also, with the full implementation of the USA Staffing Onboarding System for Special Government Employees (SGEs) in March 2020 and the elimination of Committee Management courier services to HHS, there is a cost savings of $11,000 per year.
  • Rolled out a customizable commercial off-the-shelf FOIA platform (FOIAXpress) and public access portal in early 2019 to improve FOIA management and standardize processes across all  of NIH's Institutes and Centers.  Since the launch of FOIAXpress and the portal, the number of requests received through portal has risen to 77 percent, the number of processed FOIA requests increased by 272 percent.
  • Expanded the capabilities of the NIH Ethics Enterprise System, including electronic submission of the OGE Form 450 Confidential Financial Disclosure Report for SGEs and 278T Periodic Transaction Report.
  • Created dashboards for data-based decision making in the areas of travel reporting, contract analytics, and IT security.

Designated Official: Janet Shorback, Initiative Lead

Performance Goal: Increase the efficiency and effectiveness of NIH administrative functions to better support the agency's mission while maintaining support of the workforce, increasing employee engagement, and overseeing the use of taxpayer dollars.56  HHS completed the following performance goal: Make management of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests more efficient by reducing the number of systems used to track and submit FOIA requests by December 17, 2018.

Data Source and Validation: Tracking system – systems to track and submit FOIA reports.  The new, unified system permits data review and validation at the individual FOIA request level to monitor and improve quality of data and process management.

Performance Indicator: Number of Systems Used to Track and Submit FOIA Reports57
  FY 2015 FY 2016 FY 2017 FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020
Target N/A N/A N/A Baseline 1 Discontinued
Result N/A N/A N/A 8 1 N/A
Status N/A N/A N/A Actual Target Met N/A
  Milestones Planned Completion Date Status
1. Due diligence to identify suitable FOIA platform 07/2018 Completed
2. Finalize FOIA implementation plan 08/2018 - 09/2018 Completed
3. Begin implementing FOIA plan 09/2018 Completed
4. Selected platform for FOIA effort and began portal customization 10/2018 Completed
5. Customize selected FOIA platform and perform user-acceptance testing 11/2018 Completed
6. Train all NIH FOIA staff on selected FOIA platform 12/2018 Completed
7. Launch selected FOIA platform across NIH 12/2018 Completed
8. Customize portal and launch customized portal to public 03/2019 Completed

Generating Efficiencies through Streamlined Services

Supporting Initiative: Buy Smarter

The Buy Smarter Initiative is transformative and data-driven, leveraging the collective purchasing power of HHS to secure lower prices, achieve operational efficiencies, and generate cost avoidances on goods and services.  Buy Smarter is creating a leaner, more accountable, and efficient government by using technology to improve underlying business processes and mission outcomes.

Buy Smarter serves the mission and acquisition communities.  The immediate beneficiary is the HHS acquisition community through the group purchasing model.  This will ultimately benefit HHS's overall mission, through efficiencies gained from the rationalization of duplicative contracts and lower variance on prices paid for similar products and services.

Buy Smarter established an operating model, developed an implementation plan, and created a funding strategy for procurement process improvements that will realize projected cost avoidances.  The Buy Smarter Operating Model is based on the General Services Administration (GSA) Category Management structure.  Buy Smarter uses Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) technology to analyze current HHS contract data and the underlying mission requirements.  This identifies opportunities to consolidate contract vehicles across HHS to ensure best pricing and smarter buying for the federal government.

Buy Smarter is moving from the planning phase to the implementation phase along the parallel tracks of people, process, and technology, which will result in millions of dollars in savings when the improvements are implemented and realized.  Buy Smarter leverages new and emerging technologies (e.g., cloud-native technology, A.I., machine learning, etc.) to analyze HHS-wide spend data, thereby achieving economies of scale and cost avoidance across the Department.

Designated Official: David Dasher, Initiative Lead

Performance Goal: Establish an HHS-wide Executive Steering Committee to analyze data and make enterprise acquisition decisions for goods and services.  This will operationalize OMB Memo M-19-13 for Category Management and increase throughput (# of BUYSMARTER acquisitions), thereby, achieving economies of scale and cost avoidance across the Department.58

Data Source and Validation: Five HHS contract writing systems.  Data from all five contract writing systems will be consolidated in HHS's Accelerate model, which leverages Blockchain Technology and Artificial Intelligence for advanced data analytics.

Performance Indicator: Achieve increased year over year throughput (# of contracts executed through BUYSMARTER enterprise acquisition program), coverage (total spend based on throughput, and impact (projected cost avoidance under the BUYSMARTER enterprise acquisition program [annual, overall, and average percent avoided compared to previous prices paid).59
  FY 2014 FY 2015 FY 2016 FY 2017 FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020 FY 2021 FY 2022
Target N/A N/A N/A N/A NA N/A NA Baseline Result +10%
Result N/A N/A N/A N/A NA N/A NA 09/30/21 09/30/22
Status N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Pending Actual Pending
  Milestones Planned Completion Date Status
1. Analyzed 18 months of HHS-wide spend data through an A.I. tool to give never-before visibility into HHS-wide goods and services spending. 03/2018 Completed
2. Determined initial savings hypotheses based on category benchmarks. 03/2018 Completed
3. Establish BUYSMARTER Operating Model framework for all GSA Categories, which will cover all HHS spending. 07/2018 Completed
4. Developed an overview of current spending, including top categories and vendor fragmentation. 12/2018 Completed
5. Establish Category Collaborative Model to focus on GSA Categories of Spend 01/2019 Completed
6. Leverage Accelerate block chain data layer for initial BUYSMARTER Operating Model. 03/2020 Ongoing
7. Conducted initial business-case analysis to focus on understanding current purchasing fragmentation and potential inefficiencies of the current acquisition function (e.g., initial spend analysis, initial acquisition function review). 07/2019 Completed
8. Conducted additional validation and implementation (e.g., detailed spend analysis, detailed acquisition function review). 10/2019 Completed
9. Establish the BUYSMARTER Executive Steering Committee (ESC) to provide strategic oversight of the BUYSMARTER Operating Model. 04/2020 Completed
10. The ESC approves and votes for the first BUYSMARTER goods and/or services to pursue as an enterprise. 06/2020 Completed
11. Design, develop and implement the initial version of the BUYSMARTER Full Contract Scan AI Tool for the Medical Category to support the BUYSMARTER Operating Model.. 03/2020 Completed
12. Enhance and extend the initial version of the BUYSMARTER Full Contract Scan AI Tool to further support the BUYSMARTER Operating Model. 09/2020 Pending
13. Put enterprise-wide contracts in place for 80 percent of AI identified common spend categories.  The 80 percent metric covers the majority of HHS's spend while recognizing that there are unique requirements that may not fall under common spend categories. 10/2023 Pending


52 HHS anticipates 2020 FEVS results from OPM in January 2021.  HHS 2021 and 2022 FEVS targets for this measure are adjusted in light of COVID-19 government response.

53 The FY 2021 target will be established upon evaluation of 2019 FEVS results.

54 The HHS target for FY 2019 was to have 48 grantees participating in state CAP.  HHS has achieved this target and is discontinuing this performance indicator.

55 After the initial ramp up of inspections, HHS expects for progress to plateau.

56 Since HHS has met this performance goal, the Department is discontinuing the measure.

57 The HHS target for FY 2019 was to reduce the number of systems from eight to one.  HHS has achieved this target and is discontinuing this performance indicator.

58 HHS is retiring the original performance goal and performance indicator because BUYSMARTER is transitioning from an initiative to a program and graduating from ReImagine HHS into ASFR OA on September 30, 2020.  The new realigned performance goal and performance indicator reflect this transition from initiative to an ongoing program.

59 The initiative has realigned the performance goal and performance indicator based on the current focus of the work effort.

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