OMB initiates funding model for Grants.gov

Grants.gov will become the first Quicksilver project to move from a development to a fee-for-service model to support the operation and maintenance phase of the initiative, the Office of Management and Budget announced last week.

In a memo to CIOs and chief financial officers, OMB administrator for e-government and IT Karen Evans and controller Linda Springer told agencies to identify fiscal 2004 development, modernization and enhancement funds that should be used for Grants.gov.

'Proposed 2004 agency contributions to Grants.gov were significantly decreased to address Grants.gov work on finalizing [the find and apply application] for the first six months of 2004,' the memo said. 'With the completion of this work, the primary costs facing Grants.gov include the operation and maintenance costs, enhancement costs to the existing find and apply functionality and the costs of developing new electronic forms to support additional agency grant programs consistent with agency ramp-up schedules.'

OMB also provided agencies with the funding algorithm to support the initiative in 2005 and 2006. For instance, the departments of Agriculture, Education, Health and Human Service, Labor and Transportation will pay $754,467 a year because they are the largest grants making agencies based on 2002 Federal Assistance Award Data System statistics. Agencies were charged based on whether they were considered small, medium or large grants making agencies.

'Federal agencies are encouraged to begin planning now to ensure a smooth transition to the fee-for-service model,' the memo said. 'Agencies should plan to transfer their 2005 funding within a month after the enactment of their 2005 appropriations.'

Grants.gov launched in December and in the first six months posted more than 3,000 agency grant announcements and received more than 340 grant applications electronically.

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