Letters to the Editorial

The article, 'Seeking Users' misrepresents the Grants.gov usage to date by the grants community.

The Grants.gov site provides more functionality than just the ability to submit applications electronically. The Find functionality is fully deployed and receives more than 1.2 million hits a week and distributes 400,000 e-mails weekly. Less than six months after the November 2003 effective date of the governmentwide policy directing all federal grant-making agencies to post all grant funding opportunities on Grants.gov, the weekly usage of the site soared from 435,415 hits per week to over 1 million, more than a 100 percent increase.

Version 1 of the Grants.gov Apply functionality was launched on Oct. 31, 2003. The first application was received Dec. 8, 2003, and more than 340 electronic applications were received at the time of the interview.

Since then, more than 100 applications have been received with hundreds more expected by the end of [June]. Like any new product, it takes some amount of time for potential users to become familiar with the availability and features of a product. Grants.gov has seen a significant increase in usage over the last three months and I am confident that this trend will continue.

In addition, Grants.gov has achieved success above and beyond any other governmentwide initiative by creating a collaborative environment that brings together 26 grant-making agencies for a common purpose. This purpose supports the needs of the grants community in finding and applying for federal grants. It is truly disappointing that GCN missed the bigger story that truly reflects the success of Grants.gov, which goes far beyond focusing solely on the Apply functionality and simply counting the number of applications received seven months after deployment.

Rebecca Spitzgo

Grants.gov Program Manager

Health and Human

Services Department Washington

CSC's piece of Trilogy is finished

Your recent editorial praising the FBI for renegotiating its Trilogy contracts read as though Computer Sciences Corp. was part of the continuing work on Trilogy.

We'd like to clarify that CSC successfully completed its role in the FBI's modernization on April 28, ahead of schedule. CSC's job, essentially, was to put into place a modern infrastructure for the FBI. We are not responsible for Virtual Case File.

CSC replaced the FBI's aging IT environment with a modern IT infrastructure throughout the agency. This included new desktop computers with modern office applications; a new high-speed WAN with the capacity to handle the volume and types of data needed to conduct the mission; new servers and associated software products to provide file storage, printing services, e-mail and data archiving; a new e-mail system; and certified security features.

In the final phase of our effort we migrated more than 29,000 users from their old systems to the new Trilogy architecture. This infrastructure improvement was required to allow the FBI to replace green-screen, mainframe applications with modern Web-based case management tools.

The Virtual Case File is a software development effort intended to replace multiple mainframe applications with a single enterprise case management application. It is supposed to provide a Web-based investigative application that features ease-of-use, access to multimedia, sharing of information, better search tools and secure access.

Timothy J. Sheahan

President, Security and Intelligence



Falls Church, Va.


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