Grants programs get Web-based help

FreeBalance Inc. has unveiled a Web-based application called eGrants that

can handle the management of government grants and contributions programs.

An Ottawa, Ontario-based developer of e-government products and administrative

systems, FreeBalance unveiled eGrants on Thursday. Its first deployment

will be at the Canadian Economic Development Agency.

The company will introduce eGrants in the United States on Dec. 12 in

Washington, D.C., said Gordon Graham, the company's vice president of marketing.

FreeBalance customers include the departments of Defense and Transportation

and the Coast Guard, which use the company's financial management tool.

Those agencies, as well as the others that constitute the $300 billion grant

and contribution market in the United States, are potential customers, Graham

said.

FreeBalance's eGrants solution features:

* A Web-based front end to enable users to fill in applications online.

* A workflow component that eliminates paper by automating the assessment

and award process.

* An interface to an organization's financial system to record budget

commitments, allocate funds and schedule milestone payments.

* A post-award analysis and monitoring tool that enables program managers

to ensure that the programs receiving the grants are meeting their goals.

The cost of eGrants is determined on a project-by-project basis, but

it could range from $100,000 to $500,000, Graham said.

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