Key Improvements in the CDC FY 2000 Performance Plan
The CDC FY 2000 Performance Plan has integrated significant improvements over the FY 1999 Performance Plan. These improvements can be categorized as two general types: contextual and process. Contextual improvements in the FY 2000 plan relate to the written plan (content, format, and performance measurement quality.) Process improvements are business practices that have changed to facilitate implementation of the CDC performance management system.
- For the FY 2000 Performance Plan, CDC programs have made significant progress in developing more outcome-oriented performance measures. Whereas many of the established programs such as Immunizations and Sexually Transmitted Diseases had excellent outcome measures for the FY 1999 Performance Plan, two of CDC's newer program areas (Chronic Diseases and Injury Prevention and Control) have replaced process measures with outcome measures. CDC continues to rely on process and capacity measures for many of its programs. For those programs, CDC clearly links the achievement of capacity and process to the longer-term, desired outcomes. For example, the Emerging Infections Program provides a logic model to illustrate the need to build capacity within state and local health departments. Achievement of this capacity will enable state health departments to address the unique nature of emerging diseases.
- The FY 1999 Performance Plan contained approximately 40 performance goals. The FY 2000 Performance Plan contains more than 50 performance goals. In some instances, additional goals were added by programs to better represent the broad, diverse, and numerous programs supported, such as the case with the Infectious Disease Program. CDC has also included proposed program goals for each new budget initiative (Eliminating Health Disparities, Public Health Infrastructure, and Public Health Response to Terrorism.) The FY 2000 Performance plan also includes specific performance measures in the Office of the Director that are key to support CDC programs. CDC managers continue to stress limiting the number of goals and measures to the critical few, but maximizing the ability to communicate program direction, assess success and identify areas needing improvement.
- In aligning the FY 2000 Performance Plan goals and measures with those in the FY 1999 plan, CDC program staff recognized the need to select goals and measures that could be assessed by reliable and consistent data sources. In situations where the data sources were not as reliable as was deemed appropriate, CDC programs modified their goals and measures for FY 2000 to reflect the stronger data sources. The Injury Prevention and Control Program is one such example where FT 1999 data was based on data sources from another federal agency (Department of Transportation (DOT)). DOT data were obtained from random surveys of 19 state sites. The random nature of the survey limits the usefulness and consistency of the data. This data limitation caused the program to redefine the goal and associated performance measures, and to base them on more reliable data sources.
- To sustain the performance of many of CDC programs, a core public health infrastructure must be maintained at a consistent level of performance. The FY 2000 Performance Plan includes explanations and support for the maintenance of performance levels that are constant across performance years. The Immunization Program and the Sexually Transmitted Disease Program are two examples where the performance levels remain constant across FYs 1999 and 2000. Even though levels of performance do not change, it is important to assess these measures each year to monitor and assure effective program performance.
- In the FY 2000 Performance Plan, CDC provided improved explanations for key programs regarding baselines, targets, and reasons for modifications are documented in footnotes.
- The format for the FY 2000 Performance Plan contains tables listing the performance measures and baselines for FY 1999 and FY 2000 throughout the document. The format changes improves the ability to visualize and compare the annual targets and performance for each program area.
- The significant transformation in the process of planning and developing the FY 2000 Performance Plan is notable. The extent of internal and external collaboration and coordination was greater for the development of the FY 2000 Plan. In planning for the FY 2000 plan submission, internal collaboration among the planning, financial management, information resources and CIO staffs was well coordinated. This improved coordination reduced duplication of effort and led to more informed decision making. External collaboration in the development of performance goals and measures also increased, resulting in more consistent measures across agencies as well as with national objectives such as Healthy People 2000/2010.
- The FY 2000 performance planning process integrated both GPRA and Chief Financial Officer Act (CFO) requirements, reducing the redundancy of implementing the common elements of each Act. A steering committee has been formed at CDC to guide the development of a management information system to incorporate cost accounting and program management functions for CDC staff to efficiently and effectively implement GPRA and CFO.
- By providing a clear plan for new initiatives, including performance goals and measures, CDC developed a more focused approach to addressing new initiatives -- as well as more focused new initiative proposals. Overall, the agency has improved coordination and collaboration in all areas of planning.