Now that the FY2007 budget is released, everyone can talk freely about the Grants Management Line of Business shared service providers (SSPs) that have already been chosen:
- Department of Education
- Department of Health and Human Services / Administration for Children and Families
- National Science Foundation
GCN has an article about this, which quotes me, Jerry Fralick of DOJ OJP, and Charles Havekost of HHS. This quote succinctly describes why the whole initiative is important for every Federal agency:
The administration will limit how much money agencies can spend on developing, modernizing and enhancing current grant management systems, sources said. In 2005, agencies spent about $144 million on DME [development, modernization, enhancement] for grant systems. All requests for funding to update grant management systems must be justified, sources said, and will be allowed if agencies are expected to apply to become a center of excellence. All other requests to update grant management systems likely would be denied, sources said. [My emphasis]
This is a great step forward for the GMLOB and potentially the beginning of an enormous change in how government manages grants. The true test, however, is to come: how will agencies respond?