Grants.gov team considers awardee database

Grants.gov team considers awardee database

The managing partners of the Grants.gov e-government project are determining the feasibility of a governmentwide grant awards database.

Rebecca Spitzgo, Grants.gov program manager, said yesterday that applicants, especially state and local governments, have been clamoring for one place to find all awardee information.

'It's easy to do,' she said at a luncheon in Washington sponsored by PureEdge Inc. of Victoria, British Columbia. 'We just have to come up with a schema for award data and expand our use of Web services. We then would give the information to the search engine and expand the integration with agency databases.'

Spitzgo said she briefed the Grants.gov executive board last month and they asked her to scope out what it would take to implement, the cost of the project and the data elements needed. The Health and Human Services Department is the managing partner for this Quicksilver project.

She said expanding Web services and determining the data elements would not be difficult. About half of all grant-making agencies already pull funding applications from the Grants.gov site. Now, through the Grants Line of Business Initiative'led by the Education Department and National Science Foundation'most if not all agencies will be required to use Grants.gov, Spitzgo said.

She added that to create an awards database, HHS could modify the Grants.gov contract with Northrop Grumman Corp. She did not give a timeline for a decision on the awards database.

'Consolidation on the front end will bring a demand for back-end consolidation as well,' said Mark Forman, former Office of Management and Budget administrator for e-government and IT and current executive vice president of Cassatt Corp. of Menlo Park, Calif.

State and local governments also are using the Grants.gov model to set up their own find and apply applications. Spitzgo said the District of Columbia and Minnesota are using the site to list their grant opportunities and Florida, Tennessee and Texas are implementing similar sites.

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