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Funding for Quality Management and Continuous Improvement Projects

Every year the Fisheries Information System program funds projects to improve fisheries data collection and management. This is done through the release of a Request For Proposals (RFP) with a quality management component for NOAA Fisheries and other partner agencies. This funding is intended to help initiate or maintain multi-year efforts that emphasize the continual improvement of the quality, utility and integrity of NOAA Fisheries’ and the Fishery Information Networks' fishery-dependent data collection, storage and dissemination programs.

The FIS Request for Proposals Guidance Document outlines the FIS program's priorities, submission dates and scoring criteria for all funded projects. Within the RFP's quality management and continuous improvement program area, FIS supports the following types of projects:

Training events and workshops focused on QM & CI principles, strategies, or tools - Proposals may be submitted to fund training events and workshops focused on QM principles, strategies, or tools.

Identify and develop solutions to problems within the quality management system – Proposals submitted under this theme could evaluate business and organizational processes, identify quality management issues within the organization, and outline strategies for process improvement (e.g., upgrade auditing or e-reporting applications, reduce reporting error rates). While completeness of information is a dimension of overall quality, it is not the intent of this theme to fund efforts to fill specific information gaps in regional data collections, storage, or dissemination.

Reconcile complementary processes and data collections - NOAA Fisheries, Fisheries Commissions and States all collect, store and disseminate fisheries data. Processes and data collections will sometimes overlap between organizations. Proposals under this theme might identify data streams where similar data is collected and identify how those data streams can be reconciled to determine the authoritative source or consolidate data streams or they might coordinate duplicative or overlapping processes between agencies (e.g., council rule making process and agency rule making process).

Develop regional Quality Management Frameworks – A Quality Management Framework (QMF) is a specific plan and or document that identifies how an organization will involve leadership, employees and customers in assessing the quality of processes within an organization. A typical QMF plan should involve the concepts of plan, do, check, and act (PDCA). An organization should have a plan on how it will assess processes, make improvements to the processes, check if the improvements are working, and act accordingly if they are not working. A QMF aids in the successful delivery of products and services across an organization. By using quality improvement tools to develop a regional quality management framework an organization will have methods to assess the quality of processes and will be able to identify opportunities to address organizational efficiencies, data quality and customer service. A QMF also provides an interface for the integration of processes and data streams across organizations.

Last updated by on June 13, 2018