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4/16/2010
11:37 AM
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FDA Performance Tracking System Goes Live

The Food and Drug Administration has launched a public system for tracking the activities of 100 agency offices against key performance metrics.

As part of its compliance with the Open Government Directive, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has launched a new agency-wide performance-management system that eventually will allow people to monitor the activities of more than 100 program offices.

Through the Web site, called FDA-TRACK, both the general public and people within the FDA may see how the agency is performing against certain criteria, the agency said. TRACK stands for transparency, results, accountability, credibility, and knowledge-sharing, which the FDA said are the goals of the new system.

The FDA unveiled FDA-TRACK as part of its open government plan last week to meet the Obama administration's deadline for each agency to show the president how it will improve the transparency of government operations and data and increase engagement with the public.

With FDA-Track, the agency hopes to better represent the responsibilities of the agency and demonstrate its contributions to public health by providing more visibility into agency activities. It also hopes to increase the credibility of the agency with the general public, and is encouraging people to provide feedback about its performance, including suggestions about what it can do better, it said.

In addition to interfacing with the public about performance, FDA-TRACK is meant to provide a performance barometer internally as well.

Offices participating in the system will report on each performance measure on a monthly basis, and the data will be analyzed and presented to senior management quarterly to track how each office is performing, according to the FDA. This process will help make senior management within the FDA more accountable for meeting performance goals.

The FDA has begun rolling out the site in a phased way, and not all 100 offices participating are online yet. A list of FDA-TRACK dashboards currently available may be found here.

Each office worked with the FDA's Office of Planning to set specific performance measures according to four categories: common measures, key center director measures, program measures and key project measures.

Common measures are those that each office is expected to meet according to the FDA's most recent priorities, while key center director measures are specific to an FDA center.

Similarly, program measures are unique to each program office, while key project measures are more granular still, breaking performance down to the level of office-specific projects and their milestones, the FDA said.

In addition to being office-specific, there are two cross-agency dashboards as well, one for common measuresefforts to comply with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

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