OMB sets data rules for announcing grants

The Office of Management and Budget earlier this week issued a final set of 27 data standards for agencies to use when posting grant opportunities on Grants.gov.

The portal is part of the E-Grants Quicksilver initiative managed by the Department of Health and Human Services. HHS is testing the portal through the General Services Administration's FedBizOpps.gov site with nearly every agency. Grants.gov is expected to be fully operational by Oct. 1.

OMB, through its Office of Federal Financial Management, at the same time issued a policy directive to standardize the way agencies announce grant opportunities.

In a Federal Register notice, OMB said the data elements are designed 'to give potential applicants enough information to decide whether they are interested enough to look at the full announcement' and as a 'way to get the full announcement electronically, either through Grants.gov or through a link.'

The standard format includes six required pieces of information, including an agency name, announcement type'defining whether this is a new opportunity or a modification to an existing one'and funding opportunity number. Agencies also may include nine optional sets of information, such as an executive summary, total amount to be awarded, who is eligible to apply and the number of individual awards.

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