The Public Health Service Act, Section 241 set-aside authority was originally established in 1970, when the Congress amended the Act to permit the HHS Secretary to use up to 1 percent of appropriated funds to evaluate authorized programs. Section 241 limited the base from which funds could be reserved for evaluations to programs authorized by the PHS Act. Excluded were funds appropriated for the Food and Drug Administration, the Indian Health Service, and certain other programs that were managed by PHS agencies but not authorized by the Act (e.g., HRSA's Maternal and Child Health Block Grant and CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health).
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2009, authorized the Secretary to use up to 2.4 percent of the amounts appropriated for programs authorized by the Public Health Service Act for the evaluation of these programs. For Fiscal Year 2009, the year reflected in the studies reported here, agencies and offices were budgeted a total of $945 million from the set-aside authority:
- Administration for Children and Families (ACF) - $10 million
- Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) - $372 million
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - $331 million
- Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) - $25 million
- National Institutes of Health (NIH) - $8 million
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) - $132 million
Staff components in the Office of the Secretary received a total of $67 million, shared between the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH), the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Financial Resources (ASFR), the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR).