Project Officer Transition: Q&A
Q: What is the project officer transition?
A: The Program Operations Branch (POB) is moving to a new model that will realign the awardee map by regions. As a result, some awardees will have a change of project officer. POB is also adding project officers and streamlining operations to enhance technical assistance and customer service. The new model is similar to other geographical staffing models already employed in many awardees' jurisdictions.
Q: Why is this change being made?
A: In the regional model, POB and awardees will be better positioned to cultivate and deepen regional partnership opportunities. Project officers will have specialized geographic knowledge that can help facilitate communication and cooperation between neighboring areas. Regional clusters can share best practices that support their area's specific needs, and engage with federal agencies aligned in a similar fashion (i.e., HHS, HRSA). Additionally, the new structure enables POB to organize its resources to be more efficient and effective stewards of public funds.
Q: Which awardees will be directly affected?
A: The following awardees will receive a new project officer:
- District of Columbia
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York City
- New York State
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- San Antonio
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Q: How will this benefit the awardees?
A: POB is adding project officers to its staff to reduce the number of awardees each project officer oversees. Each awardee will receive more focused attention and upgraded customer service. Awardees can also benefit from their different perspectives, fresh ideas, and previous programmatic experience.
Q: When will the transition occur?
A: The transition will be effective June 3, 2013.
Q: Why transition in June rather than after the award period ends?
A: The transition is taking place in early June to provide time for learning and relationship-building prior to the application review.
Q: What are the next steps leading up to the transition?
A: If you are an awardee affected by the new structure, you don’t have to do anything. We have all of your information in-house and will be working together to ensure a smooth transition. Your current project officer will remain your primary point of contact until June 3. They will schedule a call with you soon to introduce your newly-assigned project officer.
Q: Will this affect upcoming site visits?
A: All awardees will have at least one site visit this year. If your jurisdiction has not yet had a site visit in 2013, you can expect a visit from the project officer assigned to you (or their back-up) in the next several months. If a POB project officer has already visited your jurisdiction in the last six months, you will not have another site visit this year unless special circumstances are warranted.
Q: How were the new regions chosen?
A: POB regions were designed with several considerations in mind, including opportunities for greater regional collaboration, enhanced efficiency of CDC resources, distribution of workload among the project officers, and budgetary restraints. The new configuration does not align with HHS regions.
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