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Posted by on Jul 15, 2009 Good, but Could be Much Better

While 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 For federal agencies, the benefits of using 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, 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 is properly funded, and establishing a stakeholder group to improve communications. 

To read the full report, click here.

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