HHS completes e-grants site

Organizations interested in federal grants can now visit one Web site to find application materials and other related information.

The Health and Human Services Department on Tuesday announced the completion of Grants.gov, a site providing "one-stop" grants shopping. The site includes information about more than 800 grant opportunities at 26 agencies, according to HHS.

Potential grant applicants can search Grants.gov to view listings of available funding. Once they have selected a grants program, they can download applications and submit the forms online. Not all agencies have posted application materials yet, but forms are available from HHS and the Commerce, Education, Energy and Justice departments.

Grants.gov has existed in a "rudimentary" form since June 2002, said HHS spokesman Craig Palosky. But until recently, site users have only been able to perform a basic search for grants opportunities. In July, HHS began test runs of the site's other features.

"By putting relevant information in one place, we're helping level the playing field for organizations less familiar with federal grant programs so that they too can identify and apply for appropriate grants," said HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson in a statement.

Grants.gov is one of 24 electronic government initiatives encouraged by President Bush's five-part management agenda. The e-gov initiatives are designed to give the public better access to federal services and to enhance coordination and efficiency within the government.

Office of Management and Budget evaluators gave HHS a red light on the e-government component of the latest management agenda scorecard. That scorecard reflects the status of agencies' management initiatives as of the end of fiscal 2003. HHS received a yellow light on its e-government progress. OMB officials have said that in general, they expect to see more movement on e-government when the next quarter's grades come out.

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