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IC Directors' Meeting Highlights

December 27, 2001
To: IC Directors
From: Director, Executive Secretariat
Subject: IC Directors' Meeting Highlights — November 29, 2001

I. Update on the NIH Business and Research Support System (NBRSS)

Ms. Barros gave an overview of the NBRSS. It is one of three NIH enterprise systems and is itself composed of two administrative systems, the NIH Business System (NBS) and the Enterprise Human Resources and Planning System (EHRP). She explained that DHHS is taking a very different approach to centralizing DHHS-wide administrative systems, and this will pose some challenges for NIH. Ms. Barros reported that DHHS has agreed to allow NIH to serve as a prototype for the DHHS Unified Financial Management System. The human resources portion poses problems because the DHHS approach calls for a position-based system, while the NIH system is employee-based. Ms. Barros reviewed the oversight of the NBRSS (375 NIH employees are participating currently) as well as the proposed NBS deployment schedule and EHRP implementation strategy. She distributed copies of her slides.

II. Update on Restructuring Plan and Meetings with Dr. Sontag

Dr. Kirschstein and a small group of IC Directors met last week with Dr. Sontag on the NIH restructuring plan and will meet with him again late next week. Dr. Maddox noted that DHHS is giving us a one-week extension, but the OMB is pushing for these plans. Mr. Leasure noted that several groups are collecting data. He distributed several handouts, including the budget restructuring piece. The procurement piece will be distributed shortly. The overall theme is that NIH management exists to support our science. Mr. Leasure is working on drafting a comprehensive document, which he will send to all IC Directors as quickly as possible. He will try to weave the NBS throughout the final document. Mr. Leasure also discussed the issue of layering and distributed a chart. We may have to adopt the specific terms that DHHS is using for certain management levels. Dr. Maddox said that the budget format is a good model. We need to come close to a final document by the time the group meets again with Dr. Sontag. Such a nearly final document plus talking points will be needed for the meeting. Dr. Kirschstein asked IC Directors to obtain feedback from their staffs in these areas and to get those comments to Mr. Leasure no later than tomorrow morning. He will put all portions of the document into the budget format before the meeting with Dr. Sontag.

III. Information Items

This was Dr. Hyman's and Dr. Leshner's last IC Directors' meeting. Dr. Kirschstein led the group in saluting them with a round of applause.Dr. Ruffin, Mr. Smolonsky, Dr. Maddox, and a few IC Directors met recently with staffers from the offices of Senators Kennedy and Frist and Representatives Charles Norwood, J. C. Watts, and John Lewis about the implementation of P.L. 106-525, the Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education Act of 2000, which created the NCMHD. Representatives from AHRQ, HRSA, and the DHHS Office of Minority Health also attended. Dr. Ruffin reported on what has been done so far and his plans for the future. He included remarks about the health disparities loan repayment program and the centers of excellence endowment program. Some of the staffers were concerned about collaboration between other ICs and the Center. The rest of the meeting dealt with the NCMHD strategic plan. Dr. Ruffin hopes to send the strategic plan to Dr. Kirschstein within the next few weeks. Dr. Spiegel asked about the Department's health disparities initiative. Dr. Ruffin will represent NIH at the December 5 meeting.Dr. Vaitukaitis said the GAO representatives are meeting with NIH staff Monday for their entrance conference with NIH regarding the review of our implementation of the Clinical Research Enhancement Act. She would welcome any information on this topic from the other IC Directors.

Karen Pelham O'Steen
cc: OD Staff

This page was last reviewed on March 15, 2007 .

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