Federal grants sites merge, traffic increases

Two federal Web sites for grant applications merged under the auspices of the Grants.gov e-government project earlier this month. The merger eliminated Fedgrants.gov, according to Grants.gov officials.

Grants.gov officials expect increased traffic in future months. In 2005 alone, the site’s number of registered users grew from 12,330 in June to 22,246 in November. In November 2004, Grants.gov received 1,412 grant applications; last month that figure had increased to 20,023 applications.

Federal agencies increasingly are using grants.gov to process applications, according to statistics available on the site. In November 2004, agencies provided 205 application packages via Grants.gov, while last November, the agencies posted 1,906 grant applications on the site.

One example of the shift to electronic grant submission is today’s posting in the Federal Register of a notice of a final rule by the Housing and Urban Development Department that applicants for grants and financial assistance must use Grants.gov to apply for benefits.

“HUD noted in the proposed rule that the requirement for electronic grant application submission will standardize, simplify and improve the integrity of HUD’s grant-making process,” according to the Federal Register notice.

Prospective HUD grant applicants will be allowed to seek waivers of the electronic grant submission requirement.

Grants.gov received a Showcase of Excellence award at PostNewsweek Tech Media’s FOSE conference and exhibition in April, for the second year in a row.

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