The role of the Indian Health Service (IHS) Office of Finance and Accounting (OFA) is to facilitate a partnership with IHS personnel to ensure the effective and efficient financial operations of IHS to support the mission, program goals and budget plans in accordance with appropriations law and Congressional directives. There are five divisions within OFA - Audit, Budget Formulation, Budget Execution, System Review and Procedures, and Financial Operations.
The Division of Budget Formulation coordinates Tribal consultation in formulation of the IHS budget request, manages the preparation of the IHS budget justification and coordinates Congressional appropriations responses and briefings.
Consultation with Tribes is the foundation of the IHS budget formulation process. The IHS budget formulation process is comprised of annual forums for Indian Tribes and organizations to interact with the IHS to establish program priorities and budget recommendations. Tribes, Indian organizations and other key stakeholders are actively involved in the budget formulation process to ensure the IHS budget reflects the evolving health needs of American Indian and Alaska Native people and communities.
IHS Tribal Budget Consultation begins at the Area level with two Tribal representatives selected to serve as an Area representative on the IHS Budget Formulation Work Group (BFWG). The BFWG provides input and guidance to the IHS in matters related to the budget formulation cycle and identifies national priorities, policies and budget recommendations. The BFWG convenes twice annually for a National Work Session and Evaluation/Planning meeting. The Division of Budget Formulation monitors Tribal budget consultation activities and provides technical assistance when appropriate.
For more information about IHS Tribal Consultation Process and the Budget Formulation Work Group, please see Tribal Budget Consultation
IHS Budget Justifications
As a part of the annual President's Budget request to Congress, all federal agencies are required to submit a detailed budget request on or before the first Monday in February for the upcoming fiscal year beginning on October 1. Formulation and presentation of all budget requests must comply with requirements outlined by law and the OMB Circular A-11.
The IHS Division of Budget Formulation (DBF) is responsible for preparing and managing the annual IHS budget justification to Congress. The IHS budget formulation process begins with the formal release of Tribal recommendations (usually in March) and ends with the publication of the President's Budget (usually the following February). During this time, DBF is busy working with IHS staff to prepare and ensure budget estimates effectively communicate the relationship between proposed funding levels and planned performance results.
IHS Congressional Justifications can be viewed and downloaded here: Congressional Justifications
The IHS budget is reviewed by the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations. IHS leadership provides annual testimony to the House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies; and the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. The information provided in the annual IHS budget justification is reviewed by Congressional staff and assists them in making funding decisions.
IHS budget related Congressional inquiries and responses are coordinated by the DBF.
For more information about the Congressional appropriations process, please see: Resources