HHS prepping for e-grants portal

The Department of Health and Human Services is seeking help in launching a Web portal for electronic grant applications — one of the Bush administration's 23 cross-agency e-government initiatives.

HHS sent a notice for information to streamline the federal grant application process using desktop computers, commercial-off-the-shelf software and Web-based applications. The idea is to handle federal grants across government swiftly and electronically instead of on paper. HHS is the lead federal agency in the effort to streamline the process.

HHS also seeks software that can create a package of forms and documents that are secure from tampering and can use electronic signature software to verify a person's identity.

With the October 2001 release of its 23 high-impact e-government initiatives, the Bush administration intended to open an era of cross-agency cooperation to improve services to the public and eliminate redundant systems.

The Small Business Administration last month unveiled a new Web site, www.businesslaw.gov, which will be the basis for another of the 23 initiatives.

The site is intended to provide a one-stop portal to help small businesses answer legal questions, such as what licenses and permits are necessary at the federal, state and local levels to start a business.

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