Grants.gov: Good, but Could be Much Better
While Grants.gov has made the grants process somewhat easier for both federal awarding agencies and potential applicants, the Government Accountability Office says the web portal has systemic problems that need to be addressed.
GAO’s report echoes many previous reports about Grants.gov. For federal agencies, the benefits of using Grants.gov include eliminating the need to develop agency-specific electronic systems and making their funding opportunities available to a wider audience. For grantees, the online search and apply portal reduces paperwork and offers access to a wider array of grant opportunities. And both benefit from faster application processing.
But a “cumbersome” registration process and “uneven” system performance often result in frustration for grantees and late applications. At the federal level, a lack of clear, written policy regarding who is responsible for what on Grants.gov, as well as the “pass-the-hat” voluntary method of funding the system often cause problems, GAO says.
In the report, GAO makes four recommendations, again, most of which may sound familiar to those in the grants world. They include for example, urging OMB to work with federal agencies to ensure that Grants.gov is properly funded, and establishing a stakeholder group to improve communications.
To read the full report, click here.