Grants.gov posts the Webcasts about a week after the event so I thought these notes may be helpful for some folks.
• Terry Nicolosi, Acting Grants.gov Program Manager
• Michael Burke, NEA CIO and 2007 Chair of Grants Executive Board
• Terry Hurst, HHS
• Barbara Dorf, HUD
• Keenon James, Grants.gov
• Harsha Rao, Grants.gov Chief Architect / General Dynamics
• Michael Pelligrino, Grants.gov PMO
Grants Executive Board — Michael Burke
• Founded in PMA in 2002, to develop a single application system. Assigned to HHS. Board started, now represents 26 agencies and 900+ programs, and $500 billion in funding.
• Purpose: Provide oversight to Grants.gov and the GMLOB
• Implementation, funding, operation, and future services
• Develops funding algorithm for Grants.gov
• Providing back-end functionality for the government
• Two rounds of selections of leads. 3 selected. Waiting for OMB decisions for others.
• Assessing impact on grantees and agencies, and the implementation issues
• Waiting on cost assessments for this initiative
• The GEB looks at everything related to grants management and operations, as they relate to GMLOB and Grants.gov.
FFATA — Terry Hurst
• FFATA to include grants, contracts, and loans
• Amount, transaction type, funding agency, NAICS, CFDA number, program source, award title, description of the purpose, name and location of recipient, location of performance, relationship between parent and awarding entity
• Most agencies don’t have a searchable source for this data
• Questions about the initiative include
• Who answers questions about data provided through the system?
• How do we assure propriety of sensitive data?
• Four subcommittees:
• Grants (Terry and Tom Cooley)
• Monthly meetings being held.
• Getting close to an IT solution, allowing the data to be searched across multiple data sources
• Use of middleware (one of two possible solutions)
• Central datasource (cannot be deployed in the required timeframe; benefits over long-term, however)
• Each agency being tasked with responding to OMB to describe their capabilities to provide the data in the timeframe required, or their plan for providing the data
• When the Act was passed, there were some assumptions about the data already being available. These assumptions were not true.
• FederalSpending.gov now available: ask questions and find information at that site
HUD Experience with Grants.gov — Barbara Dorf
• [See the slideshow; available on Grants.gov shortly]
• HUD developed several booklets/handouts, walking applicants through the Grants.gov application process (see http://www.hud.gov/grants/index.cfm for these)
• Can be used by other agencies.
• Key to HUD’s success: Getting customer input
• Great working relationship with Grants.gov staff
Grants.gov 2007 System
Terry Nicolosi — Overview
• Registered AORs increased by 354% from FY06
• Submissions for FY07 Q1 and Q2 increased 293%
• Already exceeded total submissions for FY06 by April 15 this year
• Agencies are participating more fully (DOD, DOI, VA, NASA, and DHS highlighted)
• Currently working on operations and maintenance
• Oracle optimization assessment
• Hardware upgrades being completed 4/27 and 4/28 (downtime)
• System to system business process improvement
• New Grants.gov system will be deployed in May
• Ensuring testing and user acceptance
• Complete transition of agencies and applicant system-to-sstem users to Adobe platform by end of FY2007
• Assess future functionality:
• Collaborative per Grantor user group
• Web services
• Improvements to cyrrent Government wide 4040 forms
• Revisit with OMB/OGC on formation of Technical joint Application Design teams compliant with FACA
• Continue streamlining per PL106-107 (sunsets this year)
• Collaborate with FDP, NGP, NGMA, state and local groups
• Grants.gov has received an Intergovernmental Solutions Award from the American Council on Technology
Keenon James — Status of governmentwide forms
• PureEdge forms have been converted to Adobe
• Same process for submission of application packages
• Agencies with backend systems: There have been no changes to form schema, so no changes needed to those backend systems
• Section 508 testing is completed and all forms are compliant
• SF424 Short and Individual form
• While forms are revised (data field for SSN collection), the current forms have been approved by OMB
• Agencies must provide agency-specific instructions for people to use these forms
• Federal Register notice is forthcoming
• Organization Name field length on 424
• There’s an anomaly on some forms that allow too many characters to be inserted
• With forms conversion, this problem will go away but in the meantime agencies should be aware of the issue
Harsha Rao — Demo of new system
• 2007 system does not impact the 2006 system (e.g. the latter can continue working while we deploy the 2007 system)
• User interface stays the same
• Parallel processing vs serial processing
• Scalable, reliable, flexible
• Adobe Forms (platform independent)
• Enhanced system-to-system (S2S) support for all applicants and agencies
• Google search
• Search is not limited to text data
• Both synopsis data and attachments (Word, PDF, Excel) are searchable
• Oracle 9i database
• WebLogic application server v8.1.5, in a cluster
• Application and user interface
• Adobe services
• New version of the Java Development Kit
• Google Search cluster / Google Appliance
• End-user agencies (NIH, NEH, ED) testing now
• April 16: Starting to phase in all other agencies for testing
• Assessment and development of new forms is under way
• Deployment will be on May 1st
Harsha Rao — Demo of the system
• Google Search Appliance now implemented
• [Long taped demo of new functionality; difficult to see it over the Web]
Michael Pelligrino — Outreach update
• Some slight screen changes in application screens.
• Grantor and Applicant User Guides being updated
• Includes materials from testing
• Outreach training material also being updated
• Conducting “Adobe Day” on May 3rd, 2–3pm EDT, via the Web, to learn about the new Adobe platform
• Invitations going to stakeholder groups
• Free Adobe Reader available from Grants.gov now
• Web site update ongoing
• ‘For Applicants’ section complete
• ‘For Agencies’ section being updated
• Revised Technical Library
• System 2 System — includes updated process for 2007 Deployment
• Where can I find more information about the Grants.gov deployment?
• Taped demo will be on Grants.gov
• FAQ also available on Grants.gov
• Outreach materials being developed now (see above)
• Under ‘About Grants.gov’ there is a special area under ‘Program Status’ describing what’s happening with the system, including the Concept of Operations
• When will agencies begin posting grants using Adobe?
• Work with agencies has begun. When agencies complete testing around May 1, agencies will start posting application packages.
• How long will Grants.gov support PureEdge?
• Currently-posted PureEdge packages will be supported to the end of FY07 but all new packages will be using Adobe.
• PureEdge packages will be moved into the archives at the end of FY07
• How will I know what has changed from PureEdge to Adobe?
• Instructions will be provided with every application package.
• When can we get test versions of the new Grants.gov Adobe forms or are they available now? If so where would we go to see them?
• Please send this question to the Grants.gov support team and we can get you scheduled for participation.
• Applicant or agency system to system provider should contact Vincent.Sprouls@grants.gov.
• XML in the forms is exactly the same so no changes are needed to agency back-end systems.
• When will grantor agencies be able to commence testing of the soon to be implemented Grants.gov Adobe forms?
• See prior answer.
This webcast will be available on Grants.gov in approximately one week.
Next Webcast: July 19th, 1–3pm