Presentation on theme: "1 How Does E-Grants Streamlining Affect Me as a Grantee? Abbey Tyrna, OMB Watch National Grants Management Association Conference April 28, 2004."— Presentation transcript:
1 How Does E-Grants Streamlining Affect Me as a Grantee? Abbey Tyrna, OMB Watch National Grants Management Association Conference April 28, 2004
OMB Watch’s Role in Grants Streamlining In 1998, OMB Watch and the Ohio Association of Nonprofit Organizations conducted a series of briefings on devolution and grants management issues. Staff for Sen. John Glenn of Ohio participated in the briefings. In 1999, with Sen. Glenn as the lead sponsor, Congress passed the Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act (FFAMIA) of 1999, requiring federal agencies to develop common grant application and reporting procedures.
OMB Watch’s Role in Grants Streamlining Today, OMB Watch and the Urban Institute sponsor The Streamlining Grants Management Project to make sure nonprofits at the state and local level have information and input into the changes being made. The project provides information through a dedicated section on the OMB Watch web site (www. http://www.ombwatch.org/article/archive/149/.)http://www.ombwatch.org/article/archive/149/ We also distribute information on proposed changes and comment opportunities through our govgrants email list.
FFAMIA Today To date, FFAMIA has enabled the federal government to collaborate with state agencies, and nonprofit organizations like OMB Watch to develop means and methods to streamline all aspects of grants management from finding and applying to reporting.
“How Has Grants Streamlining Affected Me?” Survey In April, OMB Watch conducted an online survey to ask federal grantees specific questions related the effects of grants streamlining on their ability to find and apply for grant opportunities. This presentation is largely based on the results of that survey.
The Affects of Grants Streamlining Process While the work on streamlining the grants process has been ongoing since 1999, the affects are just now beginning to be felt by grantees. The federal government has to conduct more outreach to inform grantees and potential grantees about the changes that have taken place thus far. In time, the goal is to reduce administrative burdens imposed on receipt of federal funds.
Knowledge of Grants.gov One of the major outcomes of grants streamlining is Grants.gov, the federal government's online resource to find and apply for competitive grant opportunities. The final product of Grants.gov was launched on December 9, 2003.
Knowledge of Grants.gov Our survey indicates that the word about Grants.gov is out. 85 % of respondents have heard about Grants.gov. When asked how have they heard about Grants.gov, most said it was word of mouth from colleagues. Very few respondents heard about Grants.gov through the federal government.
Finding Grant Opportunities 73% of respondents have visited Grants.gov to find or apply for federal funds A significant number of users (40%) either found that it took a long time to find grant opportunities they could not figure out whether they were eligible to apply for the opportunity that they did find.
Finding Grant Opportunities Just about half of those who looked for grants on Grants.gov found opportunities that they would not have been able to find otherwise. Many different vehicles were sited as primary means of finding grant opportunities. Among the major findings were: The Federal Register Agency announcements More than half of the respondents signed-up for Grants.gov’s email notification service.
Finding Grant Opportunities However, those respondents that currently pay an entity to help them find grant opportunities will continue to do so. This indicates that it is going to take some time for Grants.gov to take hold The anticipated savings have not happened yet, but hopefully will soon if the government can ease the difficulty of searching for grant opportunities and provide clearer information on who is eligible to apply.
The DUNS Number Requirement Results from the survey have shown that the DUNS number has not succeeded in simplifying the application process. The DUNS number was implemented to replace agency specific numbers that applicants were required to use when they submitted a grant application.
The DUNS Number Requirement 45.5% of respondents said that agencies are still asking for their agency-specific identifying number when they apply for grants. This indicates that instead of simplifying the application process, the DUNS number has actually added to the burden.
Core and Non-Core Application Data More research needs to be done on Core and Non-Core data, but our survey results indicate that agencies are asking applicants to fill-out significantly more than the standard Core data elements found on SF-424. 70% of respondents say that agencies are asking for more information than that on SF- 424. They indicate that the additional information requested is fair and takes a fair amount of time to fill-in, or Heavy and takes plenty of time to fill-in.
Cyber Security There appears to be a problem with applying for grants online through Grants.gov because of a conflict in system-to-system interface. One respondent indicated that their cyber-security system would not allow them to register with the Central Contractor Provider, which is mandatory for applying for grants online.
Role of Nonprofits in Implementation of P.L. 106-107 Communication between the federal agencies and nonprofit sector have been productive and improved the results to date. One survey respondent said, “Thanks for being open to suggestions and feedback. Congratulations a a great step forward in the right direction, we appreciate your streamlining hard work and contributions.”
In Conclusion Issues for the Next Phase Uniform financial standards and definitions need to be developed for proposal budgets and financial reporting Activity reporting: a future challenge