HHS Office of Recovery Act Coordination

Oh joy. I’ve been suggesting that people treat the Challenge Grants like HRSA applications …

HHS leaders have been meeting together to carefully decide how best to spend the estimated $137 billion that has been made available to HHS to produce more jobs, expand health care and the health care workforce, provide an advance payment on health reform priorities in Health IT, Prevention, and Comparative Effectiveness Research, expand social services, and speed progress in biomedical research.

To staff the processes HHS has created and handle the complexity of HHS’ role in Recovery Act, HHS is establishing an Office of Recovery Act Coordination. This Office will ensure that the Act’s requirements and OMB’s guidance are followed. This will include:

    Making sure that reporting due dates are met,
    Maintaining a repository of official HHS ARRA information,
    Establishing and tracking performance outcomes, mitigating risks, and
    Keeping the public constantly informed through the web and other means of communication.

This Office will coordinate and oversee all ARRA activities for the Department, and convene those involved in ARRA implementation to accomplish tasks in a timely manner. The Office will report to the Assistant Secretary for Resources and Technology (ASRT), since many of the Offices with which it needs to coordinate are within ASRT. Leadership will be provided by a new Deputy Assistant Secretary for Recovery Act Coordination. Most Recovery Act work will be completed by HHS Operating Divisions and the Office of the Secretary Staff Divisions, but this Office will have a dedicated staff to coordinate among the various organizations and prepare reports, updates, and compile official HHS Recovery Act material.

Dennis Williams has been selected to be HHS’ Deputy Assistant Secretary for Recovery Act Coordination. Mr. Williams most recently served as HRSA Deputy Administrator, a post he held from 2002-2009. Prior to joining HRSA, Williams served as acting Assistant Secretary in HHS’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Management and Budget (OASMB, currently ASRT) from 2001 to 2002. From 1985-2001 he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Budget in OASMB.

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