HHS Allocation of Funds in FY 1985 To Support PHS Officers at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

HRD-85-53: Published: Mar 18, 1985. Publicly Released: Apr 17, 1985.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information related to the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) allocation of fiscal year (FY) 1985 funds for Public Health Service (PHS) medical positions at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS). The specific concern related to whether funds to support PHS officers at USUHS were being paid by individual agencies within PHS or by the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH).

GAO found that, for FY 1985, OASH and individual PHS agencies are financially and administratively supporting 19 PHS officers in the USUHS program. According to OASH, the specific agency to whom these PHS officers were assigned when they began their residency training determined which agency would provide the support, and the OASH request for $808,000 to support the officers was not, during the appropriation process, reduced to reflect the fact that individual PHS agencies would be providing support for them in FY 1985. The PHS officers supported by OASH who were medical residents were assigned to and supported by individual PHS agencies beginning in February 1984. The decision to transfer these medical positions from OASH to PHS agencies was agreed upon by the affected agencies because: (1) the transfer was needed to provide PHS officers in the USUHS program with definite career paths as they progressed through their medical training to prepare them for assignments within specific PHS agencies; and (2) specific PHS agencies would have financial and administrative responsibility for the officers once they began their residency training. Concerning the $808,000 request, OASH expects to spend $300,000 for eight officers and plans to reprogram a portion of these funds to support employees' salary increases, merit pay, and Senior Executive Service bonuses.

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