The FY 2000 request for Administration and Management of $189.63 million provides support for salaries, benefits, and training of persons employed at the NSF, general operating expenses, including key initiatives to advance the agency’s information systems technology, and audit and Inspector General activities.  The workforce includes Federal employees, Intergovernmental Personnel Act assignees, detailees, and contractors performing administrative functions.  


The Administration and Management key program function includes administrative costs that are funded through the Research and Related Activities Appropriation and the Education and Human Resources Appropriation.  All Intergovernmental Personnel Act costs and administrative contracts from those appropriations are included in the Administration and Management key program function.  Beginning in FY 2000, $1.20 million in award-related travel is included in program accounts instead of the Salaries and Expenses Account.  This change is being requested to directly associate oversight and outreach travel with the appropriate program.


(Millions of Dollars)

                                        1 Within OIG, $98,101 was carried over from FY 1998 to FY 1999.           


The Administration and Management key program function includes the following components:


·         Personnel Compensation and Benefits (PC&B) costs for FY 2000 increase by approximately $4.0 million over FY 1999 to provide for comparability and locality pay increases.  


·         General Operating Expenses (GOE) support the entire range of operating expenses necessary for the agency to administer its programs.  OIG support costs such as rent and communications are provided in the S&E appropriation.  The GOE level for FY 2000 provides for advances in the agency’s information systems technology and increased rental payments to the General Services Administration.


·         An increase in travel funds in FY 2000 is necessary to continue to support the merit review process while increasing the ability for oversight and outreach travel.  Without an increase in total travel authority, the Foundation will be unable to ensure both a reliable merit review process and the oversight recommended by the agency’s Inspector General.  Inspector General reports continue to cite the lack of travel funds for oversight of NSF awards as a major management challenge.   In addition, management reviews call for more oversight travel.


·         OIG Activities include resources to support the Office of Inspector General.  Funding for the financial statement audit contract is charged to the appropriations being audited.


The FY 2000 Administration and Management request is an increase of 5.0 percent over FY 1999.  The increase will fund comparability and locality pay increases, a rent increase, staff training, and improved productivity of our staff through investments in information and communications technology.  Such investment in information systems technology has been crucial to NSF in the past, as the agency has handled significant increases in program funds and corresponding increases in the quantity and complexity of its workload without equivalent increases in administrative funds.  To meet this growing workload, the Foundation has actively pursued the use of advanced information technologies to improve the way NSF does business and to reduce the administrative burden on NSF customers and staff.  In FY 2000, the Foundation’s program budget will increase by approximately 6.0 percent, while staff levels remain constant.  It is critical that the Foundation makes further investments in the agency’s information systems that will enable NSF to handle an increasing workload with the same number of staff.   The key initiatives to advance NSF’s information systems technology are:




Through the FastLane project, NSF is moving toward more streamlined, paperless electronic administrative activities.  The Foundation initiated FastLane as a research project in 1994 to test the feasibility of complete electronic handling of proposal processing and grant administration and to explore the capability of electronic processing to reduce the workload burden on both NSF and the research community.  FastLane enables NSF and its customer community to conduct and facilitate business transactions and exchange information electronically using the World Wide Web. (


In September 1998, the Director of NSF issued Important Notice 123 to university and college presidents and the heads of other grantee organizations.  It contains NSF's vision for paperless proposal and award processing.  In addition to outlining the steps NSF is taking to bring the vision to reality, the Important Notice included a schedule for grantees’ required use of the FastLane components.  This notice is NSF's public commitment to using electronic processing for its standard business processes.


In addition to increased efficiency and reduced administrative burden, the benefits to be derived from FastLane are increased access by researchers and the public to information about NSF-supported research, and reduced proposal and award processing time.  Since its inception, FastLane has been tremendously successful and has continued to experience substantial growth in all areas through FY 1998.  The system that began as an experiment with 16 university partners currently has 1500 registered institutions (up from 600 in FY 1997).  FastLane won the National Information Infrastructure Award in 1996.


To date, 29 FastLane components have been developed to handle the processing associated with proposal preparation and submission, proposal review, proposal status inquiry, award notification, project reports, and award search.  These modules were used by grantee institutions to submit 4,966 proposals in FY 1998.  (NSF receives about 30,000 proposals each year.)


Today, NSF handles nearly $2 billion in cash transactions on FastLane. FastLane features include electronic capabilities for cash requests, Federal Cash Transaction Reports (FCTR), and no cost award extensions.   Among the enhancements added in FY 1998 were the Submission of FCTR, project reporting system (both annual and final reports), spreadsheet support for proposal budgets, new proposal cover sheet and other proposal forms, Panel Travel/Electronic Funds Transfer, support of SBIR Phase II and preproposals, internal review access, and project reports internal administration.


Currently, FastLane is NSF’s preferred method of proposal submission.  NSF’s FY 2000 goal under the Results Act is that 35 percent of all NSF proposals be received via FastLane.  In order to handle the increased workload expected from this initiative, the Foundation must continue to support and enhance FastLane operations and maintenance and train personnel in its use.  The required infrastructure includes high-speed servers, scanning equipment, monitors, software, and other equipment.  It also includes system security and contracts to maintain and enhance the FastLane programs.


The FastLane system is being continuously enhanced and updated as new technologies emerge and as the agency receives feedback from the research community.  When the project began in 1994, NSF recognized that the opportunities presented by advances in the Internet and the World Wide Web would have a significant impact on how work is accomplished.  The initial project was based on what was known of the capabilities of the Internet and Web at that time.  Based on their experience with FastLane, the user community has identified new opportunities that were not envisioned in 1994.  NSF expects the requirement for new enhancements to continue as new opportunities emerge and as the Web continues to evolve.


Budget Internet Information System (BIIS) and Enterprise Information System (EIS)


The Budget Internet Information System ( contains information on GPRA issues such as processing time and award size.  It is easily accessible to the public via the Web and is used extensively by the university community and R&D press.  Information currently available includes:


·         Funding Rate by State and Organization: Contains information on number of competitive proposals and awards, funding rate, NSF processing time, award duration and award size.  The information can be obtained by discipline and includes ten years of trend data.


·         Award Listings, by Organization, State, and Institution: Includes information on funding by state and institution, broken out by academic and industrial performers with detail by discipline and award.


The Enterprise Information System (EIS) is an internal NSF, user-friendly system that informs and empowers NSF program and financial managers as they make budget and planning decisions.  The EIS includes information on financial status and FTE & Personnel.   For example, a summary of budget detail for all NSF awards is available.  This includes budgets for investigator salaries, funding for undergraduates and graduates, indirect costs, and equipment. Trends and current status of ongoing projects also are available.




NSF is the innovator, developer, and custodian for FinanceNet (, the government's Internet "home page" for financial management improvement initiatives and the government-wide Internet portal site for information on all Federal, state and local surplus, abandoned and unclaimed property.  The Chief Financial Officer’s Council is FinanceNet's sponsor through Memoranda of Agreement with its member agencies and departments.  In FY 1998, FinanceNet World Wide Web visits increased to the rate of 24.6 million "hits" per year with subscriptions to its more than 100 topical and organizational Internet list servers increasing to over 61,000.  The Foundation also further broadened FinanceNet's outreach.  In FY 1998 FinanceNet integrated all of its collaborative Internet tools, developed for more than a dozen governmental organizations, into one seamless turnkey Web application.


Migration to Client-Server Environment


NSF is replacing its aging central mainframe computer by migrating to a client-server computing environment which allows more processing to be performed at individual workstations rather than on the mainframe.  This migration is scheduled for completion in FY 2000.


FY 2000 Performance Goals for Administration and Management


The performance goals for NSF’s investment process provide information about the means and strategies NSF uses in support of its outcome goals and articulates performance goals for the investment process by which NSF shapes its portfolio of awards.  Performance goals for management address whether centrally funded and coordinated administrative activities are managed efficiently and effectively in support of NSF’s mission.






Performance Area

FY 2000 Annual Performance Goal

Proposal and Award Processes


  Use of Merit Review

At least 90 percent of NSF funds will be allocated to projects reviewed by appropriate peers external to NSF and selected through a merit-based competitive process, maintaining the FY 1998 baseline and FY 1999 goal of 90%.

  Implementation of Merit

  Review Criteria[3]

NSF performance in implementation of the new merit review criteria is successful when reviewers address the elements of both generic review criteria appropriate to the proposal at hand and when program officers take the information provided into account in their decisions on awards; minimally effective when reviewers consistently use only a few of the suggested elements of the generic review criteria although others might be applicable.

  Customer service --

  Time to prepare proposals

95% of program announcements and solicitations will be available at least three months prior to proposal deadlines or target dates improving upon the FY 1998 baseline of 66%.

  Customer service --

  Time to decision

Process 75% of proposals within six months of receipt improving upon the FY 1998 baseline of 59% and FY 1999 goal of 70%.

  Maintaining  Openness in

  the System

NSF will maintain the percentage of competitive research grants going to new investigators to be at least 30%, as provided for in the FY 1998 Performance Plan and 3% over the FY 1999 baseline of 27%.

Integration of Research and Education[4]


In Proposals

At least 25% of all research grant proposals explicitly addess integration of research and education.

  In Reviews

At least 25% of all reviews of research grant proposals explicitly address the merits of proposed activities addressing the integration of research and education.



REU and IGERT awards

Participation of students from underrepresented groups in REU and IGERT awards is at least proportional to their representation in the relevant student population, and exceeds that proportion in at least 25% of the projects.

Center activities

Participation of students from underrepresented groups in NSF centers activities is at least proportional to their representation in the relevant student population, and exceeds that proportion in at least 25% of the projects.









Critical Factor for Success

Performance Goal

New and emerging technologies


Electronic proposal processing

NSF will receive at least 35% of full proposal submissions electronically through FastLane improving upon the FY 1998 baseline of 17%.


By the end of FY 2000, NSF will have the technological capability of taking competitive proposals submitted electronically through the entire proposal and award/declination process without generating paper within NSF.

NSF Staff



In FY 2000, as all appointments for scientists and engineers are considered, the recruiting organization will demonstrate efforts to attract applications from groups that are underrepresented in the science and engineering staff as compared to their representation among Ph.D. holders in their fields.

Capability in use of information technology

By FY 2000, all appropriate staff will receive preliminary training on use of electronic proposal/award jackets.

Implementation of management reforms


Year 2000

NSF will complete all activities needed to address the Year 2000 problem for its information systems according to plan, on schedule and within budget, during FY 1999. On January 1, 2000, all mission critical systems will perform as required.

Project Reporting System

During FY 2000, at least 85% of all project reports will be submitted through the new electronic Project Reporting System. 




[1] Additional information on performance goals in this section is found in Appendix 2 of the full FY 2000 Performance Plan.

[2] Performance goals comparable to those in italics are highlighted in the FY 2000 government-wide performance plan.

[3] This performance goal is stated in the alternative format provided for in GPRA legislation.  See Appendix 2 of the full FY 2000 Performance Plan for the complete statement of the performance goal, including the minimally effective standard.

[4] These goals are new for FY 2000, but evolved from the FY 1999 goals for the Integration of Research and Education and Diversity.


[5] In FY 2000, NSF continues to emphasize the area of managing information technologies.   Information on these performance goals can be found in Appendix 3 of the full FY 2000 Performance Plan.