Yesterday I posted about this GCN story that seems to lay all blame for grants management inefficiencies at Grants.gov’s door. In re-reading the article, think the author got the wrong end of the stick from GAO’s report. Here’s the first sentence from the article.
Grants.gov continues to demonstrate a lack of standardization and inefficiencies in grant administration across federal agencies and difficulties with implementing its Web portal, the Government Accountability Office said in a report.
This should read: “The government continues to demonstrate a lack of standardization and inefficiencies in grant administration across federal agencies and difficulties with implementing its Web portal, called Grants.gov, the Government Accountability Office said in a report.” If that sentence were changed, the whole article is given a completely different (and more accurate) flavor.
There is a tendency in our industry to think of all business problems as technology problems. They’re not, and this is a great example of why. Grants.gov is a point solution for one phase of the grants lifecycle. GAO was looking at the whole grants lifecycle, and pointed out the inefficiencies which remain. Those inefficiencies are caused by a business process that has been allowed to grow uncultivated across government, like Kudzu. GAO is arguing that those processes need to change for things to get better which, like Kudzu, may only be possible by destroying the roots.