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HHS in the 21st Century: Charting a New Course for a Healthier America
A “new compact” between Congress and the department is essential as HHS works toward achieving itsvision for a healthy nation, departmental mission,and key health goals. Under this compact, the secretary would provide Congress and the nation regular,rigorous reports about departmental activities andassume greater accountability for improving performance and obtaining results; in return, Congressshould allow the department greater flexibility in itsinternal operations and decision making.
To enable greater accountability, the secretaryshould oversee development and implementationof adepartment-wide data, evaluation, and information system.The system should be based on abroad analytic framework designed to aid inmanaging departmental operations, learningfrom program experience, evaluating the costsand impact of programs, and determiningwhether they provide sufficient value for the investment of public funds.
Congress should authorize the secretary to directfunding from the budgets of all departmentalunits to support the development of an HHS-wideinformation system. Funding for such a systemwould benefit all department units.
The department should use the data, evaluation,and information system to
enable the secretary toprovide Congress withregular reportson progress toward achievingdepartmental goals,
inform policy development,
facilitate cross-department activities,
provideoperational information to programmanagementfor quality improvement andmidcourse corrections, and