Interior chooses PRISM-Grants

I see today that the Department of the Interior has selected Compusearch’s PRISM-Grants product for their end-to-end grant lifecycle. From the Compusearch press release:

“At the conclusion of a comprehensive analysis of all of the available options, one of which was to fully commit to a Grants Management Line of Business (GMLoB) consortia lead, DOI selected Compusearch’s PRISM-Grants as the enterprise-wide solution to streamline DOI’s grant-making processes through the pre-award, award and post-award phases of financial assistance program management.”

Up to this point, Interior was committed to implementing STR’s E‑Grants product as part of a complete financial management overhaul at the department.

This news also represents the first time (to my knowledge) that an agency has essentially broken a commitment to move to a GMLOB service center, in this case Education’s G5 system. Reid Jackson, Compusearch’s President, comments on this in the press release:

“‘Now that the case for adopting PRISM, a cost-effective, proven COTS solution, as a viable alternative to a GMLoB consortia provider has been proven for the fourth time, we expect other grant-making agencies to consider Compusearch’s PRISM-Grants and to make pragmatic decisions about achieving visibility, control, and transparency in their grant-making processes.’”

In the last reorganization of the GMLOB consortia, a group comprising of PRISM-Grants users (Energy, USAID, and SBA) was broken out. The addition of Interior to that group is significant because of the department’s breadth and depth of grant activity.

The news points out that some agencies need to improve their grant-making technologies quicker than the GMLOB evolution has (so far) allowed. Certainly we have seen several agencies implement new systems to support Recovery Act activities, and circumnavigate to speed delivery of grant funding to the public. If the initiative is to survive with any kind of viability among federal grant-makers, something needs to happen very soon. Otherwise, I expect to see many more agencies commit to new technologies such as PRISM-Grants to get their business done effectively.

[Updated 9/29/09: The quote from Reid Jackson was updated to correctly quote the press release.]