US Department of Education Principal Office Functional Statements
Office of the Secretary & Deputy Secretary

Functional Statements > Office of the Secretary & Deputy Secretary

Office of the Deputy Secretary

This Office, under the leadership of the Deputy Secretary, assists the Secretary in the discharge of Secretarial duties and responsibilities.  The Deputy Secretary serves as Acting Secretary in the absence of the Secretary. 

The Deputy Secretary focuses on the development and implementation of policies, programs, and activities relating to elementary and secondary education matters.  This mission addresses a wide spectrum of interests ranging from safe and drug free schools, special education and rehabilitative services, to the education of students living in poverty and students with linguistically and culturally diverse backgrounds, and the promotion of educational reforms.

The Deputy Secretary also has responsibility for the conduct of the intergovernmental relations of the Department in accordance with 20 U.S.C. 3412(a) (2) (A), the Department of Education Organization Act, as amended.

The Office of Innovation and Improvement reports directly to the Deputy Secretary.

In addition, the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization and the Risk Management Service report to the Office of the Deputy Secretary. 

Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization

The Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) reports to the Deputy Secretary on all policy matters.

The OSDBU is responsible for all ED activities on behalf of small businesses, minority businesses, and other businesses owned and controlled by disadvantaged persons and all other duties, responsibilities, and functions required by and stemming from, Pub. L. 95-507.

The Director of OSDBU also serves as the Departmental Advocate for Competition as mandated by Pub. L. 98-269. In performing its responsibilities, the Office:

  • Plans, directs, and administers the ED Small, Disadvantaged, and Women-Owned Business Program.
  • Initiates, develops, and defines policies, procedures, goals, regulations, and other guidance for administering and implementing Department-wide socioeconomic business programs in coordination with, and with review by, the Director, Contracts and Purchasing Operations, who is the Departmental procurement authority.
  • Establishes and maintains ties with the business community, other Federal agencies including the General Services Administration and Small Business Administration, and educational institutions that will aid in the achievement of Departmental goals.
  • Consults regularly with contract officers on the subject of Pub. L. 95-507 compliance and ED procurement activities, and works with the Grants and Contracts Service on a regular basis to achieve Departmental goals.

In addition, the OSDBU monitors all Departmental contracting authority for OSDBU concerns and the OSDBU Director is responsible for keeping the Secretary and Congress informed of findings and activities of the OSDBU. In-house reporting systems may be required by OSDBU, as needed, to accomplish the above.

Risk Management Service

As part of implementing Enterprise Risk Management throughout the Department, the Risk Management Service (RMS) is responsible for identifying risks and taking effective action to manage and mitigate risks that may adversely affect the advancement of the Department’s mission. The RMS achieves these results in coordination with the Risk Management Coordinating Council (RMCC) and the Department’s Principal Offices (Offices). 

To achieve this objective, the RMS:

  • Develops and coordinates a Department-wide risk management strategy.
  • Coordinates and supports consistent, quality management of formula and discretionary grants and cooperative agreements Department-wide.

RMS has four teams.

Management Improvement Team:

  • Manages and coordinates Office activities for the select portfolio of ED’s grantees and programs that are determined to have high concentrations of risk.
  • Takes the lead role in coordinating cross-Department efforts to manage/mitigate the risk associated with the high-risk and at-risk grants and grantees, by coordinating multiple Office/integrated site visits, negotiating corrective actions with the grantees, and ensuring that states effectively address the risk factors identified by ED.

Program Risk Management & Monitoring Team:

  • Works with all components of the organization to ensure that each Office has in place effective risk identification and management strategy and takes effective action to manage and mitigate risk.
  • Develops risk analysis tools and strategies for use by the Offices and trains ED staff to use these tools.
  • Supports grant-making Offices in developing annual Grants Monitoring Plans that integrate a risk management approach to monitoring.
  • Develops performance metrics to measure progress in grants monitoring and accountability and evaluates ED’s effectiveness in these areas.

Grants Policy & Procedures Team:

  • Works with all components of the organization to develop and institute Department-wide grant policies and procedures for the administration and management of formula and discretionary grants and cooperative agreements promote grantee accountability and results.
  • Establishes and maintains Departmental monitoring protocols for discretionary and formula grants, including cooperative agreements.
  • Provides Department-wide oversight of compliance with grants policies and procedures, and reports on the status of grants management to the RMCC.
  • Coordinates the development of ED policies and positions regarding government-wide grants management and streamlining initiatives.
  • Partners with the Training and Development Center to provide fiscal and grants management training to program and staff offices, and ensures that training effectively builds staff capacity to manage and monitor grants. 
  • Recommends the debarment and suspension of individuals and organizations under the Department’s non-procurement debarment authority.

Customer Service Team:

  • Ensures accurate and useful information on ED grant requirements is developed and effectively communicated to ED grantees through training and on the web.
  • Coordinates and brokers technical assistance and training to grantees in order to improve grantee infrastructure and management capacity.
  • Coordinates assistance to state educational agencies and other grantees that promotes their adoption of risk management strategies, strengthens their grants management capacity, and improves accountability, in order to increase the efficient and effective use of all available resources to achieve the educational goals of the organizations. 

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Last Modified: 09/30/2014