FreeBalance tool helps grant process

FreeBalance Inc., a provider of financial systems for e-government, announced the launch Wednesday of eGrants Pathfinder, a service to help agencies work toward fully automating their grants management processes.

The FreeBalance eGrants Pathfinder is a service where company experts:

Examine and map a granting agency's current processes. Identify opportunities for automation and process improvement. Assess the scope and level of effort required. Construct a working demonstration to determine requirements and establish a vision of grants management within the agency. Bruce Lazenby, FreeBalance president and chief executive officer, said the eGrants Pathfinder project was developed for any federal and state agency "seeking to accelerate and develop a reliable roadmap for automating their grants management processes."

FreeBalance has headquarters in Ottawa, Canada, and Washington, D.C., and has an extensive list of government customers in both countries, including the U.S. departments of Transportation and Defense and the Coast Guard.

The newly unveiled Pathfinder service has no customers yet, but it is based on industry demand, according to a company spokesman. Its tools are proprietary to FreeBalance and have been developed through the company's customer base of more than 80 government departments.

The cost of the Pathfinder will vary based on the size and scope of the granting agency's processes, but should range from $50,000 to $75,000.

In a related move made in January, FreeBalance and PEC Solutions Inc. announced a strategic alliance to pursue opportunities to help federal agencies Web-enable and automate their grants management systems.

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