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State Letter #08-12

Published: September 30, 2008

FROM: David H. Siegel
Acting Director
Office of Refugee Resettlement

SUBJECT: Guidance to States/Wilson Fish Agencies on the Completion of the FY 2009 Annual Outcome Goal Plan

Purpose

This letter and attached documents provide guidance to States/Wilson Fish agencies in completing the FY 2009 Annual Outcome Goal Plan.

Background

Just as States/Wilson-Fish agencies are responsible for reporting to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) on their annual performance outcomes and proposed goals, ORR is also required to demonstrate achievement towards established goals to the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The six performance measures that have become so familiar to the States/Wilson-Fish agencies are a result of the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) established in FY 1993. Throughout the year, ORR is required to report national aggregate performance based on the six performance measures to ACF, and, at the end of every Federal Fiscal Year, ORR is required to report cumulative, national performance outcomes to Congress in the Annual Report to Congress (ARC). Information for the reports to ACF and the Annual Report to Congress are generated from States’/Wilson-Fish agencies’ responses to the Annual Outcome Goal Plan, and the explanations provided in both reports are a compilation of States’/Wilson-Fish agencies’ Annual Outcome Goal Plan Performance Narrative. Therefore, the Annual Outcome Goal Plan – both the data and the narrative – are critical to ORR’s performance management.

The Performance Assessment and Rating Tool (PART) is another method by which ORR reports performance goals and outcomes to ACF/HHS. The PART was created by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to assess and improve government programs’ performance results by identifying program strengths and weaknesses and recommending strategies for improvement. The Rating Tool is designed so that programs can demonstrate improvement over time. Data reported by ORR to demonstrate program improvement are also taken from the Annual Outcome Goal Plan.

ORR has been working in partnership with States/Wilson-Fish agencies to implement the requirements of GPRA and PART into our refugee program. Our joint efforts have moved the program to a focus on results through the process of setting and reporting annual outcome goals. These efforts have been recognized by OMB as consistent with the intent of GPRA, and OMB has shared ORR's approach to the implementation of GPRA with other Federal programs as a promising practice. We are proud of the work we've done to date and understand that continuous improvement in performance requires continuous effort by all.

ORR continually strives to make reporting annual performance goals and outcomes easier and more efficient. ORR is in the process of developing an easy-to-reference glossary of terms to accompany the Annual Outcome Goal Plan and to complement the trimester ORR-6 Performance Report instructions.

Once again, we appreciate your suggestions on the FY 2008 Annual Outcome Goal Plan. It is our hope that the comments were addressed in the revised ORR-6 Performance Report. Whatever comments you feel were not adequately addressed either in the revised Performance Report or through conversations with ORR staff, please bring to our attention again this year. New comments are always welcome as well.

This packet of information includes individualized FY 2009 Annual Outcome Goal Plan: Performance Goals and Actuals forms, which include data on FY 2008 Goals pre-entered based on the previous year’s Annual Outcome Goal Plan submission; the Annual Outcome Goal Plan: Performance Narrative; the FY 2009 Annual Outcome Goal Plan Instructions; and a Final Completion Checklist. These documents provide essential information for completing the FY 2009 Annual Outcome Goal Plan forms. In addition, a summary of your State’s/Wilson-Fish agency’s performance outcomes based on the FY 2008 Annual Outcome Goal Plan submission and a summary of national, aggregate performance data during FY 2007 are also included.

Deadline for Submission

The completed FY 2009 Annual Outcome Goal Plan: Performance Goals and Actuals and Performance Narrative should be submitted to GPRA@ACF.hhs.gov, via email by November 15, 2008. If you have any questions after reading these instructions, you can reach Olivia Byler by email at Olivia.Byler@acf.hhs.gov or by phone at (202) 260-7143, or Pam Green-Smith, Director, Division of Refugee Assistance, by email at pamlea.greensmith@acf.hhs.gov or by phone at (202) 401-4531.