Funding for the PHS Evaluation Program is largely provided by a 1 percent evaluation set-aside legislative authority in Section 241 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. \xa4 238j). This authority was established in 1970 when Congress amended the Act to permit the Secretary of Health and Human Services to use up to 1 percent of appropriated funds to evaluate authorized programs. Amounts available from the 1 percent set-aside authority are determined annually and are subject to certain exclusions, such as program management and block grant funds, and deductions for health surveys and special evaluation projects. The remaining set-aside funds are distributed among the PHS Agencies and OASH for use under guidelines developed annually by the Assistant Secretary for Health.
Table 1 shows the set-aside evaluation funds used over the past 4 years by the PHS Agencies and OASH. In addition to the set-aside, PHS Agencies support evaluation activities with appropriated program funds. Since other funds are used for demonstrations, health services research, or program developments that meet the general description of program evaluation, the total PHS funds used to evaluate its programs exceed the amount indicated in table 1.
PHS Use of the Evaluation Set-Aside, Fiscal Years 1990-1994 (in thousands)
|FISCAL YEAR||FY 1990||FY 1991||FY 1992||FY 1993||FY 1994|
Although the $25.5 million in FY 1994 set-aside funds used for evaluation amounted to only about one-tenth of 1 percent of the total PHS Agency appropriations for that year ($21.5 billion) and two-tenths of 1 percent of the funds applicable to the set-aside program, the PHS Evaluation Program provides a vital resource for program monitoring and improvement.