In FY 2012, sound planning and execution for the strategic use of resources to achieve CVM’s mission resulted in several notable accomplishments. The Office of Management (OM) spearheaded many of the accomplishments described below.
Implementing Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Fees
FSMA provides FDA with the authority to assess and collect fees related to certain domestic food facility, foreign food facility, and importer reinspections. The authority also applies to activities associated with a recall order when a domestic food facility or importer does not comply with such order. During the year, CVM was challenged to lead the process for implementing FSMA fees for FY 2013 by developing methodology and cost estimate modules for facility re-inspection and recall fee rates. Establishing fee rates is a difficult process requiring complicated analyses and appropriate methodology that must stand up to intense scrutiny by industry, advocacy groups, and the public. The FSMA Fees Team, co-led by CVM, successfully completed its assignment by June 2012 to publish the fees not later than 60 days before the start of each fiscal year. With the application of more complete data, the FY 2013 fee rates were lower than the FY 2012 rates, a positive outcome for industry.
In addition, as co-lead of the Fees Team, CVM is directing the implementation of the other fee provision of FSMA.
Advancing Human Capital Management
In FY 2012, OM began implementing its first Strategic Human Capital Plan. The plan, developed during the previous fiscal year, guides the Center in executing our human capital activities. The accomplishments, outlined below illustrate CVM’s ongoing attention to continuous improvement for the betterment of its workforce and for the advancement of its mission.
Attracting and Selecting Talented Individuals. In support of the strategic human capital goal to attract and select talented individuals with a passion for protecting human and animal health, OM developed and statistically validated technical competency models for three of the Center’s mission-critical occupations: Mathematical Statistician, Animal Scientist, and Toxicologist. With the completion of these models, 68 percent of the Center’s workforce is now represented by a framework of the full range of occupation-specific competencies required for success in their disciplines. Technical competency models for CVM’s other five mission-critical occupations, Veterinary Medical Officer, Consumer Safety Officer, Biologist, Chemist, and Microbiologist, were established previously.
Technical competency models are a necessary part of CVM’s efforts to hire the right people in a timely manner. The models provide CVM recruiting staff with a tool for discerning which candidates have the requisite skills needed by the Center to fulfill its mission, and are the basis for the Center’s successful competency-based approach to recruitment and hiring.
In concert with the development of the technical models, OM led efforts to refine the Center’s core competency model and to create leadership competencies for CVM Team Leaders and Division Directors. The leadership competency models will be used to define leadership across the organization and to select, develop, and promote CVM leaders. Leadership competency models are vital in cultivating mechanisms by which the organization can successfully assess and develop existing bench strength while supporting the Center in designing a management succession program for the future.
Enhancing Employee Wellness and Work-Life Balance. During FY 2012, OM devised a project plan to address the imperative strategic human capital goal of creating a formal, centralized Work-Life Wellness Program to be formally in place by 2013.
We administered a Work-Life Wellness Assessment and conducted follow-up focus groups to establish fundamental priorities for CVM’s Work-Life Wellness Program. Center employees told us they wanted more physical activity opportunities, consistent educational seminars, and a webpage for work-life, wellness, and nutrition information.
A Center-wide Work Life Wellness Governing Board with individuals from various parts of CVM planned physical activity groups and seminar topics about health and wellness to be scheduled through Federal Occupational Health. We established the basic content of a CVM Work-Life Wellness Program website to include links to wellness information, applicable policies (such as telework), a calendar of group activities, and volunteer opportunities such as blood drives and Habitat for Humanity.
Enhancing CVM’s Fiscal Integrity and Program Stewardship
We report achievements that resulted in the reduction of administrative costs, and insuring that expenditures are responsible and transparent:
Developing, releasing, and monitoring guidelines for implementing Presidential Directives and Mandates related to a reduction in administrative costs. By establishing and implementing new policies and procedures to promote efficient spending, CVM exceeded the fiscal year spending reduction target set by the Administration. OM promoted Center-wide efficient spending by establishing new policies to eliminate promotional item purchases, increase the use of network printers and double-sided printing, decrease the number of personal information technology (IT) devices, and lower travel costs. CVM was able to reduce spending by more than the targeted 20 percent.
OM established measures to monitor spending to ensure that CVM met the target goal. These measures included use of the Business Intelligence Reporting System to track expenditures. OM designed a communication plan that laid out the means and opportunities for educating CVM staff about the need for reducing costs. In addition, OM developed and distributed guidance documents throughout the year to CVM program offices, and conducted informational meetings with Management Officers to ensure the offices understood the federal mandates.
Advancing Space Utilization Solutions that are Strategically Sound, Sustainable, and Safe
Optimizing CVM’s space utilization to reduce costs. Based on the Presidential Memorandum of June 10, 2010, which mandated $3 billion in space-related cost savings by the end of 2012, the Department of Health and Human Services adopted Teleworking / Hoteling as one of four ways agencies can realize savings. OM developed CVM’s hoteling pilot plan to reduce the amount of physical space an office needs, thereby lowering overhead cost, while ensuring that every worker can access office resources when necessary. Hoteling reduces the amount of office space the Center uses to carry out its mission by reducing the overall amount of space utilized per employee.
Developing the plan required determining a cost estimate and deciding what technology and equipment (e.g. phone lines, internet connectivity, and filing cabinets) would be needed for the newly configured space. CVM’s Hoteling Pilot, which included employees from ONADE in August 2012, resulted in reducing necessary employee office space by more than 50 percent, and by improving our use of space, created associated cost reductions.
Promoting sustainability by improving CVM’s environmental and energy performance. CVM responded to the growing Green Initiative by introducing innovative ways to reduce its environmental footprint while maintaining a safe and healthy work environment. This included implementing sustainability efforts related to information technology (IT) devices. Over 15 percent of redundant, out-of-warranty assigned personal computers were collected and designated as surplus. This effort resulted in cost savings by reducing unnecessary replacement purchases and eliminating unnecessary service and warranty costs along with lowering energy consumption and costs. In additionthe Center completed a sustainability pilot and initiated a Center-wide Sustainability Program, focusing on recycling paper, cans, and bottles; turning off lights; and powering down equipment when idle.
Promoting a safe and healthy CVM work environment. OM developed an Emergency Management System Operational Manual describing CVM policies and procedures during workplace emergencies. OM ensured that all major CVM facilities were equipped with first aid kits, shelter-in-place kits, automated external defibrillators, fire extinguishers, emergency light stations, and evacuation maps. Unscheduled “practice” emergency evacuation drills were conducted and evaluated with the goal of implementing evacuation procedures and protocols more successfully. Finally, we developed site-specific emergency plans and trained CVM’s emergency response personnel.