E-grants project readied
- By Judi Hasson
- Jun 11, 2002
The federal government is launching a "storefront" project July 1 for state
and local governments to apply online for e-grants, one of five major initiatives
to help the government deliver its services electronically.
The e-grants project would use an existing portal, FedBizOpps, adding
details about applying for the estimated $400 billion in grants from the
federal government each year. The Health and Human Services Department issues
half the grants, including tens of millions of dollars to the states for
Medicaid. But other agencies also provide grants for everything from art
projects to community initiatives.
Charles Havekost, the e-grants program manager at the HHS, where the
project is being developed, said June 10 at a Digital Government Institute
conference on e-grants that the project would save money by avoiding the
cost of building its own portal. They also plan to use existing government
contract vehicles and off-the-shelf products. He likened the project to
a storefront, where people can shop for what they want.
Havekost said the $20 million price tag of the project would be spent
on such big-ticket items as an integrator, who will put all the pieces together.
Eventually, the public will be able to buy a package to apply for e-grants,
much like the public can buy tax preparation software.
The e-grant initiative is one of 24 government projects to bring electronic
services to the public. In April, the Office of Management and Budget selected
five e-government initiatives for funding, including e-grants. While the
project is to be launched in October 2003, there are many details still
to be worked out including signature authentication and whether to charge
a fee, according to Havekost.