1. Why blog about grants management?
We started this Blog to improve federal grants community communications with external audiences and promote the Administration’s goals of transparency and public engagement. This Blog serves as a vehicle for providing news and updates to the public and grantee and applicant community.
2. What is the difference between the Grants World Blog and the Grants.gov Blog?
The Grants World Blog was established as a resource for the grantee/applicant community for information on federal grants management activities including relevant legislation, stakeholder announcements, and relevant news articles.
The Grants.gov Blog focuses on the applicants, system-to-system users, and grantors that use Grants.gov to find and apply for federal grant opportunities. The Grants.gov Blog provides updates regarding the Grant.gov system, Program Management Office (PMO) activities, modified grant opportunities as well as specific information for system-to-system users. Grants.gov was established as a governmental resource in the E-Grants Initiative, part of the President’s 2002 Fiscal Year Management Agenda to improve government services to the public.
Although information on both of these Blogs may sometimes overlap (e.g. system updates), more general information on federal grants management will be available on the Grants World Blog.
3. What are Lines of Business and where did they come from?
Lines of Business (LOBs) are cross-agency efforts to define, design, implement, and monitor a set of common solutions for a government-wide business function or service.
4. What are GMLOB’s vision and objectives?
GMLOB is developing a government-wide solution for grants management that promotes citizen access, customer service, and agency financial and technical stewardship. GMLOB has four primary objectives:
- Improve service to internal and external customers
- Increase standardization and streamlining
- Increase value delivered through IT to agencies, grantees, and the public
- Reduce the number of grants systems government-wide
5. What is GMLOB working to achieve?
GMLOB’s desired outcomes include:
- A government-wide solution for end-to-end grants management
- Shared technical solutions used by multiple agencies
- Transparency and efficiency in the grant decision-making process
- Improved access to grants-related programmatic and financial information
- Enhanced ability to report on award-related accomplishments
- Improved post-award monitoring and oversight
- Increased service and reduced spending on IT infrastructure
- Resources focused directly on agency mission, not on supporting technology
- Individual agency responsibility for program and grants management
6. What is the operating model and implementation approach for GMLOB?
GMLOB believes that the grants community should be the drivers of solution development. Recognizing that grants management is a critical function through which agencies fulfill their missions, GMLOB works with agencies to balance their grant-making needs with government-wide goals of efficiency, standardization, streamlining, and transparency. A taskforce of representatives from 26 grant-making agencies identified a “consortia-based” operating model in which agency work teams (consortia) align around shared business interests. Each consortium is comprised of one lead agency and one or more member agencies. Lead agencies work with member agencies to define business and technical requirements, evaluate and select alternative solutions, develop a funding strategy, and lead planning and implementation of a common solution. Under this model, each agency remains responsible for managing its own grant programs.
Recognizing that immediate migration to a consortium may not be in the best interest of every agency, GMLOB also supports several alternative solutions and cross-agency partnerships. These OMB approved solutions demonstrated compliance with the GMLOB goals such as efficiency and cost effectiveness. In addition, these agencies committed to remain compliant with government-wide standards and to collaboration between agencies with similar solutions.
7. Which agencies are the consortium leads?
In February 2006, the Department of Education (ED), the Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families (HHS-ACF), and the National Science Foundation (NSF) were named as GMLOB consortium leads.
8. What benefit does GMLOB provide to grantees?
- Standardized and streamlined government-wide grants business processes: GMLOB will minimize complex and varying agency-specific requirements and increase grantee accessibility to federal grants management systems
- Reduced grantee administrative burden: Research institutions report that progress report submission is their top administrative burden and that 20% of the time spent on federal research is dedicated to post-award research administration versus 57 % spent on active research; consortium service providers will provide grantees with online access to standard post-award reports that will decrease the number of unique agency-specific reporting requirements.
Time, Cost, and Research Savings:
- Online forms and filing: Grantees will realize additional time and costs savings through paper reduction and reduced postage costs
- Reduced system costs: GMLOB will help reduce grantee costs associated with building and maintaining system-to-system interfaces by reducing the number of systems government-wide
9. Why was GPC.gov disabled?
GPC.gov has been disabled in an effort to consolidate and simplify federal grants community communications with grantees and applicants and create a single voice for the federal grants community. In addition, recognizing the interrelatedness of grants policy, operations, and IT, the federal grants community wanted to create a single point of reference for all grant-related news and updates.
10. Will I still get the same information on the Grants World Blog as I did from GPC.gov?
We started this Blog to improve federal grants community communications with external audiences and promote the Administration’s goals of transparency and public engagement. The Grants World Blog provides a wider variety of information for grantees and applicants than GPC.gov, including summaries of pending legislation and OMB guidance, updates on community activities, and background on changes happening within the grants community. As a blog, the Grants World Blog allows us to provide more timely and focused communications to grantees and applicants.
 The Federal Demonstration Partnership: A Profile of Federal-Grant Administration Burden Among Federal Demonstration Partnership Faculty, January 2007.