What is Grants.gov and Why is EPA involved?
The Grants.gov initiative, one of 24 E-Gov initiatives, is deploying a government wide website for grants interactions. The Grants.gov portal ("the Storefront") will provide grantees the ability to electronically find and apply for grants, and begin to reduce the paper-based processes that currently challenge the Federal grants environment.
The initiative is designed to reduce existing inefficiencies, meet E-Gov goals, and provide benefits to both citizens and the government. Specifically, the initiative enables the government to meet many of the streamlining activities required by Public Law 106-107 , the Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act of 1999, and called for in the President's Management agenda in 2002, such as deploying a unified search/find capability for grant opportunities, standard data sets, and a common process for applying for Federal grant funds.
The President's Management Agenda called for agencies to "allow applicants for Federal grants to apply for, and ultimately manage, grant funds online through a common web site, simplifying grants management and eliminating redundancies." The President's Management Agenda built upon Public Law 106-107 which calls for the establishment of "a common system, including electronic processes, wherein a non-Federal entity can apply for, manage, and report on the use of funding from multiple financial assistance programs..."
The Grants.gov initiative assists applicants and grantees in their efforts to streamline processes and reduce the burden associated with searching for Federal grant opportunities and completing disparate applications of Federal agencies and/or grant programs.
The Grants.gov Program Management Office (PMO) has been established to be the focal point for the development and implementation of the Storefront. The Grants.gov PMO is sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
The Grants.gov initiative is basically Find and Apply. Grants.gov's Find mechanism (http://grants.gov/Find) allows Federal agencies to post discretionary grant opportunities on Grants.gov and potential applicants to conduct searches of these opportunities. OMB established policy that requires Federal agencies to post their discretionary grant opportunities on Grants.gov's Find mechanism. All grant-making agencies have been publishing synopses of funding opportunities on Grants.gov since October 2003.
Grants.gov's Apply mechanism (http://grants.gov/Apply) allows agencies to post their application packages on Grants.gov, and allows applicants to download the application package and complete it offline based on agency instructions. After applicants have completed all required forms they can electronically submit the package to the grant-making agency through Grants.gov. EPA is required to link all discretionary grant opportunities to an electronic application package starting October 2005.