As I’m in a small hiatus between proposals, now is the perfect time to catch up on some grants news. (No fishing or watching old episodes of The Riches for me, oh no!) This little nugget has been in my mailbox since last week.
Back in May, the GMLOB announced a new “landscape” for the initiative which included newly-defined groups of agencies. (I posted about it here.) One of those groups is called “Alternative Solutions” and a few of those agencies are all using the same COTS grants management product, PRISM-Grants from Compusearch.
Clearly Compusearch has an imperative to make sure as many people as possible know about this, so they issued this press release last week. PRISM-Grants isn’t the only COTS grants management product in use in government today — far from it, in fact. What’s interesting about this new GMLOB landscape is that OMB has given a thumbs-up to the use of COTS products alongside GMLOB partner agencies. That’s new.
I’m not sure how the agencies in question (SBA, Energy, and USAID) justified their continued implementations of PRISM-Grants, although I imagine it’s got something to do with their use of PRISM for procurement activities. The bottom line, however, is that there’s a new recognition that the grants management ecosystem needs more to sustain itself than just three consortia providers. And that’s a hopeful sign: it may be possible to innovate outside using the GMLOB consortiums, and there’s room for some inventiveness.