OMB considering consortium model for grants administration

OMB considering consortium model for grants administration

One of the Office of Management and Budget's Lines of Business task forces this month recommended that agencies form consortiums to share their systems and eliminate duplicative spending.

OMB comptroller Linda Springer said today that agencies will be grouped by common grant administration functions, with one agency as the lead and others connecting to the lead agency's hardware and software.

The task force considered several models, including the shared service version proposed earlier this month by human resources and financial management task forces. But dividing agencies into consortiums seemed to make the most sense, Springer said.

'We didn't think there were any private-sector companies that made back-office grants software that could be used by all of the federal government,' Springer said at a Washington ceremony honoring the task forces. 'We will look for commonalities that agencies have around grant administration, and that is how they will form the consortiums.'

Springer said no decisions are final, but she is confident the model will go forward with some refinements.

While OMB looks at the model, Springer said, the task forces will identify the consortium groups and finish standardizing the back-office functions. About 80 percent to 85 percent of the back-office requirements are standardized so far.

'The model can't take effect until we finish these standards,' Springer said. 'The goal is to eliminate back-office customization.'

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