FreeBalance secures P2P deal

FreeBalance Inc., a provider of financial systems for e-government, announced Tuesday that it is integrating peer-to-peer network security features into its applications at no cost to government customers.

FreeBalance will use s-Peer technology from Texar Corp., a developer of enterprise security technologies for Web and P2P environments. With s-Peer, all shared resources are protected by a policy-based access control list. Government users can designate who is permitted to view and download the resources being shared, said Michael Vlugt, director of business development for Texar.

FreeBalance's eGrants will be the first product to integrate the s-Peer technology. The product features:

* A Web-based front end for online applications.

* A workflow component to automate the assessment and award process and eliminate paper.

* An interface to the financial system to record budget commitments, allocate funds and schedule milestone payments.

* A post-award analysis and monitoring tool so program managers can ensure that the goals of the program are being met.

FreeBalance has an extensive list of government customers in the United States and Canada, including the U.S. departments of Transportation and Defense and the Coast Guard.

Early targets for the s-Peer technology will be FreeBalance's eGrants customers at the federal and state level, but there is more urgency at the federal agencies that are dealing with government-imposed deadlines from the Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act of 1999, according to a FreeBalance spokesman.

The s-Peer technology will eventually be included in other FreeBalance products, and "there will be no associated cost increase as a result," the spokesman said.

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