Federal Commons portal opens for grants

Federal Commons portal opens for grants

By Patricia Daukantas

GCN Staff

MARCH 11'The government recently opened a Web portal to serve agencies, institutions and individuals that handle federal grant money.

Federal Commons, at www.cfda.gov/federalcommons, organizes the bulk of its online grant information by topic, from agriculture and community development to technology and transportation. In layout and design, it resembles FirstGov.gov and the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, both managed by the General Services Administration.

The home page also links grant recipients to two electronic payment systems, the Health and Human Services Department's Payment Management System and the Financial Management Service's Automated Standard Application for Payment.

The Web site, which went live in December, helps its 23 participating agencies fulfill requirements of the 1999 Federal Financial Assistance Management Act to offer electronic grant application processing later this year.

'It's a single portal for grants that embodies what the legislation calls for,' said Brad Stanford, special assistant to the Office of Naval Research chief information officer.

Stanford co-chairs the Inter-Agency Electronic Grants Committee, a working group sponsored by the Chief Financial Officers Council. The panel has studied electronic grant processing alternatives since 1997, before the legislation was passed, Stanford said.

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