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Appendixes

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A Charge to the Board and Panels 281

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282 tIOV 2 1 2002 APPENDIX A o4~; N - , UNITED STATED DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Inetitute of Standarde and Technology Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899 OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR MEMORANDUM FOR Board on Assessment of NIST Programs and its Panels From: Subject: Arden L. Bement, Jr. Director Charge to the National Research Council Board on Assessment of NIST Programs for the FY2003 Evaluation I am extremely grateful to the members of the Board on Assessment and its panels for the time, effort, and expertise that all of you devote to evaluating the technical quality of NIST's laboratory programs. Your findings are a central component of our performance evaluation system, and help NIST remain a top-quality science and technology agency serving the nation's measurement needs. NIST highly values your hard work and insights in assessing our laboratory programs, and we look forward to working closely and productively with you in FY2003. NIST's mission is to develop and promote measurement, standards, and technology to enhance productivity, facilitate trade, and improve the quality of life. The NIST Laboratories conduct research to anticipate future metrology and standards needs, to enable new scientific and technological advances, and to continuously improve and refine existing measurement methods and services. For FY2003, I ask that the Board on Assessment continue your longstanding focus on assessing the technical merit of NIST's laboratory programs. I also ask the Board to continue your focus on assessing the relevance of NIST work to the needs of our current and future customers. Potential demand for NIST measurements and standards will always exceed our limited resources. We ask the Board to continue to help us maximize the impact of our laboratory programs by focusing on the most significant needs of our customers. In summary, I ask the Board on Assessment to focus its FY2003 assessment of the NIST Laboratories on three factors: the technical quality and merit of the laboratory programs relative to the state-of-the-art worldwide; the relevance of the laboratory programs to the current and future needs of customers; and the effectiveness with which the laboratory programs are carried out and the results disseminated to customers.

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APPENDIX A As part of its assessment of these three factors, I ask the Board and its Panels to consider the adequacy of the Laboratories' facilities, equipment, and human resources to enable the Laboratories to fulfill their mission and meet their customers' needs. At the October 16 Workshop, NIST and the Board briefly discussed possible indicators of performance for each ot- the factors that may provide guidance to the Board and its Panels in the assessment process. I look forward to discussing these indicators and their potential use with the Board in more detail at the December meeting. With its mix of experts from industry, academia, and government agencies, the Board is well positioned to help NIST evaluate its laboratory programs on each of these factors. As in past years, your findings will be used by NIST internally for continuous improvement in each area of evaluation and externally for reporting to key stakeholders on the quality, relevance, and performance of the NIST laboratories. NIST's key stakeholders, including the Department of Commerce, the Administration, and Congress, use your findings to help ensure an optimal return on the public's investment in NIST. The Board's reports, statements, and briefings based on independent and comprehensive expert peer review are a cornerstone of NIST's perfonnance evaluation system and are featured prominently in our reports to the Administration and Congress under the terms of the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) R&D investment criteria. The Board's annual published assessment is a thorough and comprehensive document of great value to NIST and our stakeholders. I am pleased that the Board agreed at the October 16 Workshop to provide a brief "Stakeholder's Statement" document as part of the FY2003 assessment that will address issues the Board believes should be of interest to NIST's key stakeholders. This document will be valuable in helping to more broadly disseminate the Board's key findings. Thank you again for contributing your time and expertise to assess the quality and relevance of NIST's laboratory programs. Your expert, objective appraisal is crucial to helping NIST continuously improve its programs and effectiveness. cc: Senior Management Board Program Office Scott Weidman 283

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