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US Department of Education Principal Office Functional Statements
Office of Elementary and Secondary Education

Functional Statements > Office of Elementary and Secondary Education

A. Immediate Office of the Assistant Secretary

Under the direction of the Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education, the Immediate Office formulates policy and directs and coordinates the administration of programs for elementary and secondary education.  The Assistant Secretary is assisted by Deputy Assistant Secretaries who provide oversight responsibilities for specific OESE programs and a Deputy Assistant Secretary who oversees OESE operations management and planning.

The Deputy Assistant Secretaries for Policy (i.e., Strategic Initiatives, State Technical Assistance, School Turnaround, and Safe and Healthy Students) participate fully with the Assistant Secretary in providing leadership and day-to-day administration of OESE's nationwide elementary and secondary education programs.

The Deputy Assistant Secretary for Management and Planning is responsible for overseeing and coordinating the responsibilities of the Management Support Unit and the Administrative Support Unit (Executive Office).  The Deputy Assistant Secretary for Management and Planning advises the Assistant Secretary on matters related to these two units.

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Management Support Unit

The Management Support Unit (MSU) is responsible for operations management.  The unit services as the primary catalyst for developing and implementing effective management practices, continuous improvement processes, and organizational capacity building to align and implement OESE’s Annual Program Performance Plan in accordance with the Department’s Strategic Plan.  An Organizational Performance Officer, who reports to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Management and Planning, directs the MSU.

In performing its responsibilities, the MSU conducts the following functions:

  • Planning – Coordinates a yearly planning process with the Assistant Secretary and programs units in the development of OESE’s Annual Program Performance Plan.  Tracks individual grant program plans and informs the Assistant Secretary about mid-year progress, any need for revision of plans, and end-of-year accomplishments.
  • Budget & Resource Allocation – Prepares OESE’s annual program and administrative budget requests to reflect the aims of the Administration and the objectives of the Assistant Secretary based upon program office input for transmission to the Budget Service (BS).  Establishes and manages staffing allocations and position ceilings.
  • Organizational Performance - Coordinates OESE's analyses of critical indicators to identify and report on current performance levels; measures progress in meeting organizational goals; and determines whether changes in grant program administration and/or operations management are warranted.
  • Continuous Improvement/Innovation – Provides leadership in designing, developing, and assessing alternative management practices that lead to productivity gains, employee engagement, service delivery innovations, and performance accountability.  Analyzes stakeholder requirements, strategic options, and research results, and coordinates with other OESE program units to integrate findings into OESE's overall operations management framework.
  • Knowledge and Data Management – Develops an analytic agenda that facilitates and guides the collection, organization, interpretation, reporting, and use of data and other information from external and internal sources to inform policy analyses, program performance reporting, organizational performance reporting, operations analyses, and post implementation learning.  Prepares analytic reports in response to congressional mandates and/or special requests from the Assistant Secretary or Deputy Assistant Secretaries. 
  • Human Capital Management - Performs management evaluations, manpower utilization, and organizational planning studies.  Develops and implements a comprehensive staff on-boarding, training, and professional development program for strategic employee competency gaps.  Identifies key issues and topics to be addressed, designs strategies for specific staff groups as well as all staff, and identifies and secures trainers and presenters.
  • Grant Administration – Establishes a standard review and decision-making system for key grant and contract matters, prior to award, which permits the Assistant Secretary to make informed program decisions.  Facilitates the development and review of Annual Spending Plans.  Guides, in coordination with the Program Offices, the clearance of rules and regulations, Federal Register notices, grant program announcements, grant competition technical review plans, grant slates, monitoring plans, and risk assessments; and assists in preparing appropriate Information Collection packages.  Offers training and technical assistance to OESE program office staff on the use of Departmental grants systems, policies, and procedures.  Develops and updates generic forms and templates that OESE program office staff can download and customize.  Coordinates with the Departmental Grants Policy and Oversight Staff to ensure consistency in grants and contracts policies across OESE and maintains the OESE grants procedures manual.  Acts as OESE liaison in the Departmental regulatory agenda process.  Develops the OESE monitoring plan and prepares an annual report on its implementation.  Develops and maintains, in codified form, a policy precedent file of decisions relating to OESE grant program activities
  • Audit Resolution – Coordinates the review and approval of audit findings assigned to OESE for resolution.  Improves the capacity of OESE to implement an efficient audit resolution process.
  • Scheduling - Develops a master calendar that assures coordination of critical grant administration and operation management activities.  Tracks grant and contract administration timelines.

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Executive Office

The Executive Office (EO), headed by an Executive Officer, reports to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Management and Planning.  This unit coordinates and executes all internal administrative matters and controls relating to OESE in areas such as budget formulation, grant and contracts, personnel, small purchase procurement, FOIA, travel, asset management (including property and telecommunications), space alterations, and support services.  This unit also provides the administrative support services listed below to the Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA).

In performing its responsibilities, the Unit conducts the following functions:

  • Coordination – Serves as OESE point of contact and coordinates with OCFO, OCIO, OM, OGC, and OPEPD/BS on all administrative policies and procedures.
  • Internal Controls - Establishes and maintains systems of internal management and financial control for OESE.
  • Budget Formulation - Assists with the formulation of the program and administrative budgets for OESE by preparing and submitting the necessary information and materials.
  • Budget Execution - Processes documents related to obligation of program and administrative funds.  Approves and processes fiscal management documents and maintains appropriate fiscal records to insure against over-obligation of funds.
  • Personnel - Manages and coordinates personnel management activities for OESE including recruitment, employee development, performance appraisal systems, retention, payroll and leave, performance awards and recognition, and workforce planning.  Provides advice on labor relations matters, including grievances, employee discipline, and remedial actions.  Assists in resolving grievances.  Develops and monitors equal employment opportunity programs and services.  Provides guidance to supervisors on personnel regulations and policies.  Establishes reporting systems and monitors personnel matters in all OESE components.
  • Organizational Control - Reviews, analyzes, and prepares reorganization proposals for OESE and monitors their approval through the established approval process.  Prepares delegations of authority for OESE and coordinates the delegation process.
  • Obligation of Grants and Contracts – Establishes and monitors the annual schedule of grant and contract activities (acquisition plan) for OESE.  Coordinates the commitment and obligation of grant awards and contracts.  Rolls over prior year data and prepares and mails notices of due date(s).  Monitors the drawdown of grants funds.  Provides technical assistance or guidance regarding grants and contracts management and the G-5 system to assure adherence to policies and procedures.  Maintains a system for tracking grant portfolio funds through recording and monitoring obligating documents and reviewing and analyzing financial reports.
  • Communications - Controls correspondence, documents receipt of all mail addressed to the Assistant Secretary or referred by the Secretary and determines if a response is required, assigns responsibility for preparing a response, and sets deadlines for completion of replies.  Tracks inquiries to determine trends and issues of concern to OESE’s various customers and constituencies.  Coordinates the clearance of documents to assure full and appropriate OESE staff participation in decisions and serves as initial liaison and contact point with the Executive Secretariat.  Provides support services to meet external communication needs for the Assistant Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretaries, with writing and editing of speeches, multi-media presentations, documents, electronic publishing, and centralized OESE mailing lists.  Develops a variety of materials, publications, and other vehicles for internal communications to ensure OESE staffs are kept apprised of OESE initiatives, priorities, and accomplishments.  Ensures that OESE’s material on the Internet and Department Intranet is substantive and up-to-date.
  • Audit Liaison - Serves as OESE’s point of contact and liaison with the program offices, OGC, OIG, and OCFO/PAG on the processing of audits.  Maintains records and tracking system on all OESE audits.  Develops and submits periodic reports on audit activities.
  • Procurement – Manages purchase card program and other small purchase procurements.
  • Travel – Manages the employee travel system.  Provides guidance and advice to staff on travel regulations and policies. 
  • FOIA – Coordinates, reviews, and processes all data collection and Freedom of Information activities for OESE.
  • Asset Management – Coordinates and monitors the development of the annual Information Technology (IT) budget plans, monitors and maintains IT security controls on allocated IT funds.  Establishes and monitors the property control system for OESE, making periodic reports on the adequacy of operations, and makes recommendations for improvements. 
  • Facility Management – Maintains a system of space allocation, use, and control for all space assigned to OESE.  Coordinates internal OESE physical moves.
  • General Administrative Services - Establishes and manages a system of general administrative and support services to fulfill day-to-day needs of the Office of the Assistant Secretary.  
  • Records Management – Provides guidance and evaluates progress in meeting records management policies and procedures pertaining to OESE-administered programs.
  • Continuity of Operations - Manages business continuity plans

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Last Modified: 07/31/2012