Administration and Management
The FY 2003 Budget Request of $268.14 million for Administration and Management (A&M) - five percent of the agency's total budget request - represents an increase of $41.46 million, or 18.3 percent, over the FY 2002 Current Plan. A&M supports the agency's high-performing workforce and its state-of-the-art physical and IT-enabled business infrastructure.
(Millions of Dollars)
Totals may not add due to
This request reflects findings from the first stages of a comprehensive, strategic assessment of NSF's A&M responsibilities. Over its 50-plus year history, NSF's commitment to excellence in supporting research and education has consistently been matched by its high standards and commitment to innovation in administration and management. Continuing this tradition of excellent stewardship requires a level of investment that reflects NSF's increasing responsibilities, the growing complexity of its workload, and new requirements for both IT and physical security.
NSF's focus on demonstrating management excellence is sharpened through attention to specific issues. For example, the President's Management Agenda mandates that NSF, like other agencies, demonstrates consistent results through proven management practices in: Human Capital Management; Achieving e-Government; Competitive Sourcing; Financial Management; and Integrated Budget and Performance Management. In addition, the agency also proactively addresses management challenges identified through internal review and oversight as well as those identified by the agency's Inspector General and the General Accounting Office.
Recently, the NSF Inspector General concluded that NSF needs increased staffing to ensure that it continues to achieve high standards of pre- and post-award management excellence while its portfolio grows in size and complexity. The FY 2003 Budget addresses these concerns by increasing full-time equivalent (FTE) positions in mission-focused areas - the first increase in more than a decade.
In addition, funding is provided for the full range of general operating expenses needed to support the workforce and its program management responsibilities. These include increases to maintain and develop NSF's existing portfolio of IT systems as well as initiating the development for our next generation corporate system, the Proposal, Review, and Awards Management Integration System (PRAMIS).
The Administrative and Management Portfolio
The Foundation's A&M activities are funded through four appropriations accounts: Research and Related Activities, Education and Human Resources, Salaries and Expenses, and the Office of Inspector General.
Salaries and Expenses
The FY 2003 Budget Request for Salaries and Expenses (S&E) is $210.16 million, an increase of $33.76 million, or 19.1 percent, over the FY 2002 Current Plan of $176.40 million. This includes funding for Personnel Compensation and Benefits ($139.64 million in FY 2003) and General Operating Expenses ($70.52 million in FY 2003).
The FY 2003 request for General Operating Expenses (GOE) is $70.52 million, an increase of $20.33 million over the FY 2002 Current Plan. GOE includes NSF's entire range of program and administrative support functions.
A&M-related expenses supporting the R&RA and EHR appropriations increase by approximately $7 million to a total of $49.92 million, a 15.5 percent increase, as shown in the following table.
(Millions of Dollars)
Totals may not add due
Office of Inspector General
The FY 2003 request for the OIG is $8.06 million, an increase of $1.02 million over the FY 2002 Current Plan. The proposed increase includes the addition of 3 FTE to the OIG staff following recommendations by the National Science Board and the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs calling for measured growth in the number of audits conducted at organizations that receive NSF funding. The balance of the increase will permit modest growth in the areas of contract support for audits, technological capability, staff training, and outreach activities. Funding for the financial statement audit contract is charged to the appropriations being audited. OIG support costs - such as rent and communications - are provided in the Salaries and Expenses appropriation.
Additionally, OIG includes Pension and Health Costs as proposed by the Administration's Cost Integration Legislation requiring agencies to pay their full share of accrued cost of retirement beginning in FY 2003 is requested.
Highlights FY 2003 A&M
Highlights of the FY 2003 A&M request include the major initiatives in Electronic Government and Human Capital Management, consistent with the President's Management Agenda.
NSF is a leader in the use of information technology to advance its mission to promote the progress of science, education, and engineering. The Foundation continues to advance discovery and to exercise leadership in science and engineering research and education while taking steps to promote the dissemination, integration and application of new knowledge.
In October 2000, NSF became the first government agency to conduct all essential business interactions and transactions with its customers electronically. This allowed NSF to continue receiving and processing proposals without interruption during the recent mail emergencies following the anthrax attacks.
The award-winning FastLane system exemplifies a high level of excellence and achievement in information systems design and implementation. For example:
The results of NSF's e-Government initiatives are significant. In FY 2001, NSF processed more than:
In addition, NSF has been and continues to be an active leader in interagency electronic grant initiatives through the new government-wide e-Grants initiative, the Federal Demonstration Partnership, and other activities. In particular, the common interagency grant portal, known as the Federal Commons, directly benefits from NSF's trail- blazing efforts and the strong foundation provided by NSF's information systems and electronic grants processing.
FastLane positions NSF to fulfill the vision of a fully integrated electronic proposal and award system to provide quick, secure and paperless processing. In FY 2001, NSF successfully completed a GPRA initiative to conduct 10 paperless process proof-of-concept pilots using FastLane systems. In addition to FastLane, there are a number of internal legacy systems that process more than 10,000 new grants awarded each year from the roughly 32,000 competitive proposals submitted by the science and engineering research and education communities.
In the future, NSF will follow a disciplined approach for ensuring that new investments needed to optimize business value and mission performance are planned and evaluated within the context of an overall Enterprise Architecture framework. The NSF Integrated Enterprise Architecture will (1) provide a blueprint for defining current business processes, applications, information resources, and technical infrastructure; (2) support definition of the knowledge bases, applications, and supporting technology that are needed to support evolving NSF mission needs; and (3) define a crisp transition strategy and plan for achieving an integrated Enterprise Architecture that is consistent with NSF business goals and operational priorities.
Highlights of new information technology investments are:
PRAMIS: NSF's first phase of implementing next-generation e-government capabilities will focus on NSF's two principal business processes: (1) Merit Review and (2) Award Management and Oversight.
The centerpiece of this will be the design, development, and implementation of the Proposal, Review, and Awards Management Integration System (PRAMIS). NSF's phased approach for implementing next-generation e-government capabilities will result in delivery of high-priority technologies and capabilities to uphold the Foundation's management excellence.
PRAMIS will improve internal NSF processing as a complement and extension to the common processes and products planned for the government-wide e-Grants initiative and Federal Commons, focusing on integration and improvement of internal functions. As with FastLane, NSF will ensure that internal business process improvements and IT capabilities are integrated with the government-wide e-Grants initiative to streamline and simplify electronic grants management across the government.
PIMS: The Program Information Management System (PIMS) is a web application that will provide a robust data architecture for the front-end of the NSF program information life cycle. Program officers will use the system to manage information about their programs, including detailed business rules that can be leveraged by other NSF data systems at later stages in the life cycle. The system will support a completely electronic review and approval process for information development and publishing, and the resulting database will enable dynamic web publishing of accurate, consistent information on all NSF web sites.
Knowledge Management: As part of NSF's phased approach for implementing next-generation e-government capabilities, opportunities for improving productivity for common functions will be addressed. In the knowledge management area, key projects to promote the dissemination, integration, and application of new knowledge are planned. These include human capital knowledge bases, a final projects report knowledge base, and a Committee of Visitors repository.
Customer Service: To enhance customer service, NSF will continue implementation of a new "Customer Care" initiative and commercial call tracking software to improve support for the over 200,000 external customers from research and education institutions.
Infrastructure: In FY 2003, NSF will also support evolving legacy administrative systems into more robust and consistent government-wide and commercial enterprise solutions.
Remote Access: NSF will continue to advance the application of current and emerging technologies such as wireless and videoconferencing to support evolving telecommuting and remote access needs.
Information and Physical Security: The Foundation is focused on assuring that NSF infrastructure and critical assets are appropriately protected while maintaining an open and collaborative environment for scientific research and discovery. NSF has established a strong and comprehensive Information Technology Security program that is consistent with government-wide guidance and patterned after industry best practices. This program encompasses all aspects of information security, including policy and procedures, risk assessments and security plans, managed intrusion detection services, vulnerability assessments, and technical and management security controls.
The NSF approach is based on a fundamental philosophy of risk management where information technology security risks are assessed, understood, and mitigated appropriately. This approach allows NSF to implement appropriate layers of protective measures and controls to ensure the privacy, integrity, and security of information and information technology resources needed by NSF and the broad research community - while allowing appropriate access and availability to users. In FY 2003, NSF will focus increased resources on improving physical and information technology security. Specifically, in FY 2003, NSF will initiate a major project to implement the use of "smart" technology to restrict and monitor employee and visitor access and entry into NSF facilities, and to improve access controls to e-business applications and capabilities. Other planned improvements include enhancements to network, telephone, and corporate infrastructure, and additional investments in risk assessments, security plans and controls, and penetration testing. These investments will ensure that the risk of unauthorized access to facilities, systems and information using various manual and automated checkpoints and controls is appropriately mitigated.
The NSF Academy is being developed in support of the agency's vision of growing as a learning organization, with learning opportunities woven into the fabric of the organization's business processes and practices. It will provide the agency's workforce with a comprehensive suite of organization and career-enhancing programs. The Academy will also provide innovative training modules for the NSF community to familiarize them with NSF's electronic business systems.
A range of new learning activities is being developed and/or piloted at this time:
Developing IT competency for NSF's e-business environment: This year, 24-hour on-line access tutorials for NSF's e-business processes will be launched. One tutorial explains the Electronic Proposal Processing System, with information on the role of all participants involved in proposal review including the details of managing and executing the Integrated Panel System. We are planning to have information available to those serving on NSF panels so that panelists, who are dispersed around the country can become familiar with the electronic business systems and the role of the panelist prior to arrival at NSF.
The Academy's goals are to have an on-line tutorial for all new major business systems at the time they are introduced. The PIMS (described above) will be the first project for which a web-based tutorial will accompany its release.
Distance Learning: The Academy is piloting distance learning. We are subscribing to off-the-shelf courses to offer a greater number of classes that NSF staff can use at any time. The first pilot with supervisory staff was very successful. It included topics such as coaching and project management. There will be pilots for the major occupations at NSF to ensure that our investment in Distance Learning is well-managed. Courses available through distance learning will be embedded in the curricula for each job category.
Leadership: The Academy has begun a three-pronged approach to leadership - based upon conducting needs assessments for program officers, administrative staff, and executives. We are supporting the leadership initiative with an orientation that addresses leadership competencies, beginning with a special orientation for Division Directors. Part of the curriculum for Division Directors will be an annual seminar that will be offered this fiscal year.
Curricula development, succession planning, career development, certification programs, and support for Academic learning: NSF plans a robust learning program to ensure that all staff members have the required competencies for their current job, for jobs as they move through the rapidly changing e-business environment, and for professional development in general. With input from NSF staff, we will be developing plans to help support an array of learning activities.
Human Capital Management
For more than 50 years, NSF has enabled discovery, learning and innovation by drawing upon its talented, diverse workforce. The agency's flexible, agile workforce of high-end knowledge workers includes approximately 600 permanent and visiting scientists and engineers (approximately 65% of the agency's scientists and engineers are permanent government employees), 450 business and operations personnel, 350 program support personnel, and approximately 210 on-site contractors, including IT contractors, mail room personnel, proposal processing personnel, Help Desk and Information Center personnel.
Workforce categories are shown in the following tables.
The FY 2003 Request includes 67 additional (FTE) - 50 FTE to support existing NSF programs and 17 FTE to support additional programs proposed to be transferred to NSF from other agencies. The additional positions will be allocated based on an agency-wide review of critical human capital needs that is part of the comprehensive Strategic Business Analysis scheduled to begin in FY 2002. An example of a possible allocation of these positions follows:
NSF will recruit approximately 35 FTEs to strategically enhance program/business management expertise within the agency. Individuals recruited will:
In addition to strengthening workforce core competencies, individuals hired will relieve growing workload pressures on current NSF project/program managers, thereby allowing increased attention to critical areas such as award management and oversight, performance assessment and accountability. To ensure the continued effective planning, management and oversight of facility projects, the agency will dedicate at least 7 of the approximately 35 positions to these activities. New Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction (MREFC) projects such as NEON and Earthscope will be allocated a dedicated FTE. As part of the agency-wide review, ongoing MREFC projects will be reviewed to ensure that the appropriate level of project management exists and additional FTE will be provided if warranted.
NSF will also recruit approximately 15 FTEs as science/engineering assistants. Based on several internal pilots to-date, NSF has found that many of the recurring tasks performed by Ph.D.-level scientists and engineers can, in fact, be effectively carried out by individuals with bachelors or masters degrees in science or engineering. Science/engineering assistants perform duties such as developing program announcements, researching and recommending reviewers, writing panel reports, responding to questions from principal investigators, and synthesizing information from project reports. The recruitment of science/engineering assistants will allow Ph.D. level scientists and engineers to focus on more of the substantive science and engineering issues associated with program and proposal/award management and oversight. This strategic recruitment promises both efficiency and effectiveness improvements in NSF business processes.
An additional 17 FTE will support the establishment and management of three programs transferred from other agencies: Sea Grants, Environmental Education, and Toxic Hydrology Research.
Recent A&M Accomplishments
Electronic Recruitment: e-Recruit is a web-based system that automates the government hiring process and allows NSF's Division of Human Resources Management (HRM) to develop and post vacancies electronically. E-Recruit will allow HRM to reengineer its business processes so that staff spend less time on paper-intensive work such as rating and ranking applications, corresponding with candidates, and setting up panels.
The e-Recruit system will manage the bulk of the rating and ranking. HR staff will then provide a quality review of the top candidates, only spending time on those who certify their expertise high enough to warrant referral, instead of spending countless hours reviewing applications from individuals who would not even make a first cut. Applicants fill out an on-line resume and answer a series of job-specific questions. e-Recruit screens out ineligible and unqualified applicants, applies federal rules such as Veterans' preference and CTAP/ICTAP, notifies applicants of their eligibility, rates and ranks applicants based on their answers to the questions and generates a web-based certificate of rated and ranked applicants for the manager to view.
Empowering Front-Line Employees: NSF's Division of Grants and Agreements (DGA) has recently revised its Delegation levels of authority to allow grants specialists to approve actions at the lowest possible levels while still maintaining appropriate accountability and internal controls. DGA has a streamlining committee that is working with the Foundation-wide e-grants initiative to streamline the processing of routine, low-risk grants as much as possible.
Budget Internet Information System (BIIS) and Enterprise Information System (EIS): The Budget Internet Information System (http://dellweb.bfa.nsf.gov/) 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 academic community and research and development press. Information currently available includes:
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 financial and personnel information. For example, a summary of grant budgets for all NSF awards is available. This includes budgets for investigator salaries, funding for undergraduates and graduates, indirect costs, and equipment costs. Trends and current status of projects also are available.
5Development of an additional performance
goal in FY 2003 for reviewer pool diversity will be assessed
once the FY 2002 goal of establishing a baseline for participation
of members of underrepresented groups in the NSF reviewer
pool is completed.
|Last Modified: Oct 11, 2005|
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