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Circular 96-03


DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
Public Health Service
Indian Health Service
Rockville, Maryland 20852

Refer to: OD/DHO

INDIAN HEALTH SERVICE CIRCULAR NO. 96-03

Effective Date:  03/11/1996

ASSESSMENT OF MANAGEMENT OF AREA OFFICES

  1. PURPOSE.  To implement a system to assess administrative and managerial processes being carried out in Area Offices of the Indian Health Services (IHS).

  2. OBJECTIVE:

    1. To periodically review the practices and policies affecting tribal relationships, human resources, financial, contractual and real property resources in an Area Office of the IHS.

    2. To assure that resources are being utilized effectively and in conformance to applicable laws, regulations, and policies of the Agency.

    3. Evaluate the administrative process, including organizations, staffing, inter-relationships, morale and effectiveness.

    4. Evaluate progress in meeting planned objectives.

    5. Evaluate Tribal and Service Unit consultative support supplied by the Area Office.

    6. Assess customer participation and satisfaction.

  3. BACKGROUND:  Periodically there are vacancies in the position of Area Director throughout the 11 Areas of the Indian Health Service.  In some cases these positions have been filed by the same individual for several years.  Because of he dynamic nature of the IHS program it is important to periodically assess Area operations.  A particular timely opportunity exists when the Area Director's position is vacant in a given Area of IHS.

  4. POLICY:  It shall be the policy of the IHS for a team to conduct an assessment of IHS Area operations when a vacancy exists in the Area for the position of Area Director.  This team will be appointed and charged by the Deputy Director, IHS.

  5. SUGGESTED PROCEDURES AND ACTIVITIES:

    1. Area Office Relationship With Service Unit - Interview representatives from at least two Services Units to determine working relationship between Area and Service Units.

    2. Area Office Employee Morale - Interview at least 6 Area Office employees to assess the Staff's attitude and opinion of the management practices.

    3. Area Senior Management - Interview the Deputy Director, Chief Medical Officer and Executive Officer to enlist ideas, opinions and attitudes of Area management practices.

    4. Area Health Board - Meet with the Area Health Board to assess their opinions, ideas and suggestions of Area management.

    5. Interview With Key Area Staff - The team will interview the Personnel Officer, Financial Management Officer and Contracting/Procurement Officer to enlist their ideas of current operating procedures and how Area management could be improved.

    6. Fund Control Policies

      1. Determine if adequate fund control policies are established and utilized correctly and that obligations and disbursements do not exceed the obligational authority available to that Area.

      2. Determine the dollar amount of interest penalties for the past 3 to 6 month period.

      3. Determine if accounting reports are reconciled on a timely basis.

      4. Determine if the general ledger accounts for capitalized and non-capitalized property are reconciled periodically.

  6. REPORTS:  The assessment team will usually complete their field work within a one week period and submit a written report to the Deputy Director, IHS within one week following their field activities.  The report will address the about objectives and procedures and outline appropriate recommendations based on the findings.

/Michael H. Trujillo, M.D./
Michael H. Trujillo, M.D., M.P.H.
Assistant Surgeon General
Director, Indian Health Service

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