This is the accessible text file for GAO report number GAO-05-335 
entitled 'Grants Management: Additional Actions Needed to Streamline 
and Simplify Processes' which was released on April 18, 2005. 

This text file was formatted by the U.S. Government Accountability 
Office (GAO) to be accessible to users with visual impairments, as part 
of a longer term project to improve GAO products' accessibility. Every 
attempt has been made to maintain the structural and data integrity of 
the original printed product. Accessibility features, such as text 
descriptions of tables, consecutively numbered footnotes placed at the 
end of the file, and the text of agency comment letters, are provided 
but may not exactly duplicate the presentation or format of the printed 
version. The portable document format (PDF) file is an exact electronic 
replica of the printed version. We welcome your feedback. Please E-mail 
your comments regarding the contents or accessibility features of this 
document to Webmaster@gao.gov. 

This is a work of the U.S. government and is not subject to copyright 
protection in the United States. It may be reproduced and distributed 
in its entirety without further permission from GAO. Because this work 
may contain copyrighted images or other material, permission from the 
copyright holder may be necessary if you wish to reproduce this 
material separately. 

Report to Congressional Committees:

April 2005:

Grants Management:

Additional Actions Needed to Streamline and Simplify Processes:

[Hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-05-335]:

GAO Highlights:

Highlights of GAO-05-335, a report to the Committee on Homeland 
Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate, and the Committee on 
Government Reform, House of Representatives: 

Why GAO Did This Study:

The federal government distributed about $400 billion in federal grants 
in fiscal year 2003 through about 1,000 different federal grant 
programs administered by several federal agencies with different 
administrative requirements. Congress, concerned that some of these 
requirements may be duplicative, burdensome, or conflicting-and could 
impede cost-effective delivery of services-passed the Federal Financial 
Assistance Management Improvement Act of 1999 (FFAMIA), and mandated 
that GAO assess the act’s effectiveness. This report addresses (1) 
progress made to streamline and develop common processes for grantees 
and (2) the coordination among the Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB), the agencies, and potential grant recipients. 

What GAO Found:

More than five years after passage of FFAMIA, grant agencies have made 
progress in some areas of grant administration, but in other areas, 
particularly the development of common reporting systems, progress is 
just beginning. Grant-making agencies together developed a common plan 
for streamlining processes. Several cross-agency teams identified 
changes that should be made, and these plans are in various stages of 
completion. For example, a Web-based system, Grants.gov, is now 
available to help potential grantees identify grant opportunities and 
apply for them electronically. Common forms are being developed to 
eliminate duplication and unnecessary differences among agencies. 
However, efforts toward common electronic systems for reporting 
financial and performance information have not been developed, although 
the law requiring them sunsets in 2007. Further, individual agencies 
have not all reported on their progress annually, as required. 

The individual agencies and the cross-agency work groups have a mixed 
record of coordinating with grantees. For example, the cross-agency 
work groups solicited public input to their early plan. Grants.gov 
publicizes its plans and solicits ongoing grantee input through its Web 
site and user surveys. However, the work groups generally have not made 
information about their work public nor solicited ongoing grantee 
input. Without such input, reforms are less likely to meet the needs of 
grantees. In general, the oversight of streamlining initiatives has 
shifted, potentially contributing to the lack of progress on all 
aspects of grant management. 

FFAMIA Implementation and Oversight Groups: 

[See PDF for image]

[End of figure]

What GAO Recommends:

To augment the progress toward streamlining grant administration, GAO 
recommends that OMB ensure that (1) initiatives have clear goals for 
completion, (2) agency annual progress reports are prepared, (3) 
efforts toward common reporting continue on track, (4) OMB’s 
streamlining strategy integrate the three individual initiatives now 
under way, and (5) grantee input is solicited on an ongoing basis. In 
written comments on the draft report, OMB generally agreed with the 
report. 

www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-05-335. To view the full product, 
including the scope and methodology, click on the link above. For more 
information, contact Paul Posner at (202) 512-6806 or posnerp@gao.gov. 

[End of section]

Contents:

Letter:

Results in Brief:

Background:

Some Progress Made in Streamlining Grant Administration across 
Agencies, but More Progress Is Needed:

Coordination Activities Established across Agencies, but Initiatives 
Lack Continuing Input from Grantees:

Conclusions:

Recommendations for Executive Action:

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation:

Appendixes:

Appendix I: P.L. 106-107 Annual Reports Submitted to Congress as of 
March 1, 2005:

Appendix II: Detailed Information on Grants.gov:

Appendix III: Comments from the Office of Management and Budget:

Appendix IV: GAO Contacts and Staff Acknowledgments:

GAO Contacts:

Acknowledgments:

Tables:

Table 1: Current Cross-Agency Work Groups Addressing P.L. 106-107 
Objectives:

Table 2: Status of Streamlining Initiatives and Their Expected Impact 
on Grantees:

Table 3: P.L. 106-107 Annual Reports Submitted to Congress as of March 
1, 2005:

Table 4: Status of Agency Participation in Grants.gov "Apply" Component 
(as of April 6, 2005):

Figures: 

Figure 1: Grant Life Cycle: 

Figure 2: P.L. 106-107 Implementation and Oversight Groups: 

Abbreviations: 

FACA: Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972: 

OMB: Office of Management and Budget: 

HHS: Department of Health and Human Services: 

Letter April 18, 2005: 

The Honorable Susan M. Collins: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Joseph I. Lieberman: Ranking Minority Member: 
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs: United States 
Senate: 

The Honorable Tom Davis: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Henry A. Waxman: 
Ranking Minority Member: 
Committee on Government Reform: 
House of Representatives: 

The federal government distributed about $400 billion in federal grants 
in fiscal year 2003, which accounted for almost one-fifth of the 
federal budget. Funds from these grants are used to implement about 
1,000 different federal grant programs, administered and overseen by 26 
different federal agencies as well as some smaller federal entities. 
These grant programs generally have different objectives and strategies 
that are reflected in their application, selection, monitoring, and 
reporting processes. In seeking out, using, and reporting on these 
grants, grantees--with a wide variety of resources and expertise--must 
adapt to the different requirements, potentially spending valuable time 
and resources on administrative issues rather than in advancing the 
causes that the grant funds were intended to affect. Congress, 
concerned that some of these administrative requirements may be 
duplicative, burdensome, or conflicting and could impede the cost-
effective delivery of services at the local level, passed the Federal 
Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act of 1999, commonly 
referred to by the grants community as P.L. 106-107.[Footnote 1] The 
act required coordination among federal grant-making agencies to 
streamline administrative requirements and to improve coordination 
among federal grantor agencies and their nonfederal partners. 

When the act was passed, it specifically mandated a study by GAO that 
would assess the act's effectiveness, make specific recommendations to 
improve its implementation, evaluate each grantor agency's performance 
in achieving its planned goals and objectives, and assess the 
coordination among key players. In this report, we will address (1) 
what progress has been made to streamline and develop common processes 
for grantees and (2) the extent of coordination among the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB), the agencies, and potential grant 
recipients. We plan to focus future work on assessing the impact of 
grant-process reforms on the diverse array of grant recipients. 

To address our objectives, we reviewed P.L. 106-107 to understand its 
requirements. We also reviewed the common plan developed by the 26 
grant-making agencies and the subsequent annual reports from the 
agencies as submitted to OMB and Congress. We met with officials from 
(1) OMB, (2) cross-agency work groups established to address the 
objectives of P.L. 106-107, and (3) two specific initiatives that are 
closely related to the law's streamlining objectives--a common Web 
portal for potential grantees to identify and apply for grants 
(referred to as Grants.gov) and an initiative to streamline grant 
management within agencies (referred to as the Grants Management Line 
of Business initiative). To assess agency progress we analyzed the 
agencies' 2004 annual reports to identify significant progress. We 
attempted to identify tangible and quantifiable results that met the 
goals laid out in the common plan, as well as the objectives of the 
act. To provide more in-depth perspective on the implementation of 
grant streamlining efforts and coordination with other agencies and 
grantees, we met with officials from four agencies--the Department of 
Transportation, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the 
National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Science 
Foundation. In selecting these agencies, we considered the number of 
subagencies, the types and amounts of grants dispersed, the types of 
grant recipients, and the level of participation in specific 
streamlining activities. To analyze the coordination within and among 
agencies and with grantees, we compared agency coordination efforts 
with criteria developed in our prior work, and we discuss the criteria 
in the report. Although we had some initial discussions on grant 
administration with organizations representing grantees, we plan to 
obtain views from a wider spectrum of grantees in a second study 
responding to the P.L. 106-107 mandate. We conducted our work in 
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards from 
March 2004 through March 2005. 

Results in Brief: 

More than 5 years after passage of P.L. 106-107, cross-agency work 
groups have made some progress in streamlining aspects of the early 
phases of the grants life cycle and in some specific aspects of overall 
grants management; however, efforts toward common electronic systems 
for reporting financial and performance information have not 
progressed, although the law requiring these improvements sunsets in 
2007. After P.L. 106-107 was passed in 1999, OMB designated HHS as the 
lead agency in implementing the act. Grant-making agencies provided 
staff to work groups, which developed a common plan and set goals for 
streamlining procedures related to all phases of grant management. 
These plans are in various stages of completion. For example, a new Web-
based system, called Grants.gov, is now available to help potential 
grantees identify grant opportunities more easily and apply for them 
electronically. OMB has most recently initiated a major cross-
government effort called the Grants Management Line of Business 
initiative, which seeks to provide a governmentwide solution to manage 
agencies' grant activities. According to the cross-agency team 
responsible for the initiative, it will attempt to consolidate grant 
management systems across agencies and may include a common system for 
financial and performance reporting, but development of such a system 
has not begun. The cross-agency work groups have identified other 
potential reforms. Some have been implemented, such as developing a 
standard format for the announcement of grant opportunities. Other 
changes have been proposed but have not yet been implemented, such as 
developing standard reports for grantees to complete, which should 
reduce the administrative burden of completing different reports for 
each associated grant-making agency. 

Several cross-agency groups have coordinated the grant streamlining 
efforts of the federal grant-making agencies, but coordination with the 
grantee community, required under P.L. 106-107, has been more limited. 
The Grants Executive Board, which has members from 13 grant-making 
agencies, oversees the implementation work groups and the Grants.gov 
initiative. However, uncertainty about the roles of the various 
implementation groups appears to have hampered progress. In their early 
work, the groups undertook efforts to coordinate and consult with the 
grantee communities; these efforts included public consultation 
meetings and solicitations of public comments. The Grants.gov 
initiative has built coordination with the users into the process; 
users have been surveyed three times, and there have been continuing 
efforts to publicize its availability and provide training to the 
grantee community. However, as the work groups address other aspects of 
streamlining, they have not been involving the grantee community to the 
same extent. 

We are recommending that OMB take several actions to augment the 
progress toward meeting the goals of P.L. 106-107. In its written 
comments on our draft report, OMB generally agreed with our findings 
and recommendations, and provided comments on its status related to the 
recommendations. In addition, we received technical comments verbally 
from OMB officials, which we incorporated in the report as appropriate. 

Background: 

Congress, concerned about the burden on grantees of multiple, varying 
requirements imposed by different grant programs, passed P.L. 106-107 
in 1999. The act's objective is to improve the effectiveness and 
performance of federal financial assistance programs, simplify federal 
financial assistance application and reporting requirements, improve 
the delivery of services to the public, and facilitate greater 
coordination among those responsible for delivering such services. The 
act required agencies to establish common applications, systems, and 
uniform rules to improve the effectiveness and performance of federal 
grants with the goal of improved efficiency and delivery of services to 
the public. Under P.L. 106-107, OMB is required to direct, coordinate, 
and assist federal agencies in developing and implementing a common 
application and reporting system, including electronic processes with 
which a nonfederal entity can apply for, manage, and report on the use 
of funds from multiple grant programs that serve similar purposes but 
are administered by different federal agencies. The act sunsets in 
November 2007. 

The complexity and diversity of the grants system makes streamlining a 
difficult endeavor. Multiple federal entities are involved in grants 
administration; the grantor agencies have varied grants management 
processes; the grantee groups are diverse; and grants themselves vary 
substantially in their types, purposes, and administrative 
requirements. The federal grant system continues to be highly 
fragmented, potentially resulting in a high degree of duplication and 
overlap among federal programs.[Footnote 2] Hundreds of federal grant 
programs implement various domestic policies and have administrative 
requirements that may be duplicative, burdensome, or conflicting--which 
can impede the effectiveness of grants programs. 

Multiple federal entities are involved in grants management. The 
Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act of 1977 gives OMB the 
authority to issue supplementary interpretive guidelines to promote 
consistent and efficient use of grant agreements.[Footnote 3] OMB 
publishes this guidance to federal agencies in OMB circulars and 
federal agencies issue regulations implementing the OMB guidance. The 
General Services Administration is the lead agency in charge of 
disseminating information on funding opportunities. It publishes, in 
both electronic and print form, the Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance, a searchable database of federal financial assistance 
programs. 

There is substantial diversity among the federal agencies that 
administer grants. Some agencies administer many grants through 
multiple, decentralized subagencies, while other agencies have small, 
centralized grant-making offices that administer only a few, small 
grant programs. For example, in fiscal year 2003, HHS administered 282 
grant programs that distributed approximately $246 billion through its 
16 subagencies, while the National Endowment for the Arts administered 
3 grant programs that distributed approximately $95 million. 

Grant programs are diverse in their structure and purpose. Grants can 
be grouped into three types based on the amount of discretion given to 
the grantee for the use of funds. Each type strikes a different balance 
between the desire of the federal grantor that funds be used 
efficiently and effectively to meet national objectives and the desire 
of the grantee to use the funds to meet local priorities and to 
minimize the administrative burdens associated with accepting the 
grant. Categorical grants allow the least amount of recipient 
discretion, general revenue-sharing grants the most, and block grants 
an intermediate amount. Grant funds may also be grouped by their method 
of allocating funds, that is, by formula, through discretionary project 
grants, or both. Formula grants allocate funds based on distribution 
formulas prescribed by legislation or administrative regulation. 
Project grants are generally awarded on a competitive basis to eligible 
applicants. Grant programs fund a variety of types of programs, 
including training, research, planning, evaluation, capacity building, 
demonstration projects, construction, and service provision in many 
different areas including health care, education, law enforcement, and 
homeland security. The diversity of grant programs is matched by the 
diversity of grant recipients. Grant announcements identify the 
eligible recipients, which may include states and their agencies, local 
governments, tribal governments, nonprofit organizations, research 
institutions, and individuals. 

The opportunities to streamline grants administration differ throughout 
the life cycle of a grant. While there is substantial variation among 
grants, generally grants follow the life cycle as shown in figure 1: 
announcement, application, award, postaward, and closeout. Once 
established through legislation, which may specify particular 
objectives, eligibility, and other requirements, a grant program may be 
further defined by grantor agency requirements. For competitive grant 
programs, the public is notified of the grant opportunity through an 
announcement, and potential grantees must submit applications for 
agency review. In the awards stage, the agency identifies successful 
applicants or legislatively defined grant recipients and awards 
funding. The postaward stage includes payment processing, agency 
monitoring, and grantee reporting, which may include financial and 
performance information. The closeout phase includes preparation of 
final reports, financial reconciliation, and any required accounting 
for property. Audits may occur multiple times during the life cycle of 
the grant and after closeout. 

Figure 1: Grant Life Cycle: 

[See PDF for image] 

[End of figure] 

Some Progress Made in Streamlining Grant Administration across 
Agencies, but More Progress Is Needed: 

To implement P.L. 106-107's requirement to improve the effectiveness 
and performance of federal grants, a common plan was developed and 
most, but not all, grant-making agencies have submitted reports 
annually on their progress toward this plan as required by the law. The 
work groups have identified several changes that should be made, but 
many of these are still in the developmental or approval stages. One 
particular extensive effort--the development of a Web portal called 
Grants.gov that represents a common face to grantees--has enabled 
grantees to identify relevant grant opportunities and, to a limited 
extent, apply electronically for grants. For the later phases of the 
grant life cycle, a new initiative is under way, the Grants Management 
Line of Business, that will encompass all phases of the grant life 
cycle and specifically address simplifying the administration and 
management of grants. 

In 2001 Agencies Developed a Common Plan to Guide Federal Grant 
Streamlining Efforts: 

P.L. 106-107 requires that under OMB leadership, agencies develop 
common applications, systems, and administrative rules to improve the 
effectiveness of federal grants. To implement this requirement, a cross-
agency committee established cross-agency work groups. The work groups 
then identified needed changes and developed a common plan for 
implementing P.L. 106-107. Twenty-six federal grant-making agencies 
agreed to use this common plan to meet the law's requirements, since 
meeting its objectives required them to work together to a large 
extent. The plan, submitted to Congress and OMB in May 2001, was 
developed under the oversight of the initial interagency governance 
structure established to implement P.L. 106-107. A series of five 
public consultation meetings was held with representatives from states, 
local governments, Native American tribes and tribal organizations, 
universities and nonprofit organizations that conduct research, and 
other nonprofit organizations. Comments from these meetings were 
considered in developing the plan. 

The common plan contained goals and objectives intended to meet the 
requirements of P.L. 106-107. It included progress, accomplishments, 
and planned activities for streamlining and simplifying the award and 
administration of federal grants. The plan addressed the life cycle of 
the grant process, supporting processes, systems and standards, as well 
as other issues. Some specific objectives included (1) streamlining, 
simplifying, and improving announcements of funding opportunities and 
related business processes, application requirements and procedures, 
and award documents; (2) streamlining and simplifying standard and 
unique report forms, allowing for electronic submission of reports, 
achieving greater uniformity in federal business processes for 
reporting, and improving reporting by recipients; (3) simplifying and 
standardizing, to the extent appropriate, general administrative 
requirements and agency treatment of them in the terms and conditions 
of award; and (4) fully developing and implementing a portal for 
identifying and applying for grants, and ensuring that any revised 
electronic data standards are interoperable and present a common face 
to grant-making agencies, applicants, and recipients. 

The common plan also included some process improvements that began 
before passage of P.L. 106-107 and were completed prior to adoption of 
the plan or are still continuing today. For example, since 1998 the 
federal government has required grant-making agencies to transition 
from various payment systems to one of three designated systems. The 
common plan included objectives and milestones directly related to such 
past activities that have been incorporated into the plan. The plan is 
also built on successful models resulting from earlier initiatives of 
individual agencies or interagency groups. For example, one objective 
of the common plan was to ensure that federal agencies' grant financial 
systems comply with requirements established by the Joint Financial 
Management Improvement Program. 

Agency Progress Varies, and Not All Have Filed Annual Reports: 

Annual governmentwide progress reports describe the collaborative 
efforts of 26 federal agencies. Each agency also reports annually on 
its progress implementing the plan, although not all agencies have 
regularly submitted these reports. The annual governmentwide progress 
report describes the collaborative efforts to streamline and simplify 
the award and administration of federal grants. The report includes the 
federal government's steps toward simplification of the grant policy 
framework. For instance, the establishment of a central location for 
OMB guidance to federal agencies and agency regulations implementing 
that guidance will make it easier for the applicants and recipients to 
find and follow administrative requirements. It also includes completed 
initiatives, such as the development and use of a standard format for 
agencies' funding announcements, which aims to make it easier for 
potential applicants to quickly find specific information in the 
announcements. 

P.L. 106-107 requires each federal grant-making agency to provide an 
annual progress report that evaluates its performance in meeting the 
common plan's goals and objectives. However, only 22 of the 26 agencies 
have submitted their 2004 annual report to Congress. (See app. I for 
information on agencies submitting reports for 2002 to 2004.) Agencies 
have reported progress in implementing some streamlining activities. 
For example, HHS has worked toward the internal consolidation from nine 
to two grant management systems, one primarily supporting research 
grants and the other primarily supporting nonresearch, or service 
grants. Another agency, the National Science Foundation, reported it is 
conducting a comprehensive business analysis that will highlight areas 
where grant processes can be streamlined and simplified. Also, the 
National Endowment for the Humanities reported it has streamlined the 
internal agency clearance process, which is the mechanism by which all 
grant applications' guidelines and forms are reviewed and updated every 
year. 

Some factors, both internal and external to the grant-making agencies, 
may have slowed agencies' progress in fully implementing streamlining 
activities and have contributed to the lack of progress in adopting 
common governmentwide systems. The different business processes at 
various agencies was one reason agencies reported a hesitation to 
migrate to a common grant management system. For example, the National 
Science Foundation reported that it conducts peer reviews of broad 
research grant programs, which require an entirely different type of 
management system when compared to the Department of Transportation, 
which generally manages noncompetitive formula grants to state and 
local governments. 

The structure and size of an agency's grant management program is 
another factor that may affect the agency's progress toward grant 
streamlining. For example, some smaller agencies such as the National 
Endowment for the Humanities, which has a highly centralized grant 
management operation, reported being able to more quickly adopt some of 
the governmentwide grant streamlining initiatives. However, other 
agencies that manage grant programs from many different operating 
divisions may take longer to make changes due to the decentralized 
organizational structure and the larger number of grant programs. 

Lastly, some agencies had existing online grant management systems 
before the passage of P.L. 106-107 and the development of Grants.gov. 
The integration of preexisting grant streamlining achievements in some 
agencies, such as the common announcement form adopted from National 
Science Foundation and National Endowment for the Humanities work, 
allows those agencies to realize more immediate benefits because much 
of the work was completed prior to implementation of the common plan. 
Agencies, such as the Department of Transportation, that have not fully 
implemented internal streamlining initiatives need to do so before they 
can fully benefit from the approaches adopted by other agencies or the 
cross-agency work groups. 

P.L. 106-107 also required agencies to establish performance measures 
and a process for assessing the extent to which specified goals and 
objectives have been achieved. In developing these performance 
measures, the agencies were to consider input from applicants, 
recipients, and other stakeholders. The annual agency progress reports 
did not include any such performance measures or evaluations. Each of 
the agencies' progress reports varied in detail and included a 
narrative of some of the actions taken to meet identified goals and 
objectives. Attempts to compare the progress of federal agencies to 
each other are difficult due to the missing reports and the lack of 
performance measures. 

Cross-Agency Work Groups Developed Policies to Streamline, but Many Are 
Not Implemented Yet: 

After P.L. 106-107 was enacted, several cross-agency work groups were 
created to facilitate the law's implementation; while some of their 
developments have been implemented, others are still in progress. The 
teams, which focused on different phases of the life cycle of grants, 
identified initiatives that should be undertaken. To identify 
priorities for action, the teams relied on comments from the grantee 
community on what streamlining should occur and on their own knowledge 
of grants management. With many potential areas on which to focus, some 
work group representatives commented to us that they addressed the "low-
hanging fruit," preferring to work on those tasks that were more 
readily accomplished while yielding strong results. The current work 
groups and their responsibilities are shown in table 1. In addition, 
some groups have subgroups that have taken responsibility for key 
products. The work groups are supported to some extent by additional 
contract staff funded initially by the Chief Financial Officers 
Council. 

Table 1: Current Cross-Agency Work Groups Addressing P.L. 106-107 
Objectives: 

Work groups: Pre-Award; 
Responsibilities: Identifying streamlining and simplification 
opportunities in the phase of the grants life cycle during which 
potential applicants for discretionary grants identify funding 
opportunities, and prepare and submit applications, and applicants are 
notified if their applications were unsuccessful or, if their 
applications were successful, receive awards. 

Work groups: Post-Award; 
Responsibilities: Identifying streamlining and simplification 
opportunities in the phase of the grants life cycle during which 
recipients perform their awards and submit progress, financial, and 
other required reports (other than audit reports) and request and 
receive payment, and federal agencies monitor awards for compliance, 
oversee progress, and provide technical assistance. 

Work groups: Mandatory Grants[A]; 
Responsibilities: Identifying streamlining and simplification 
opportunities for mandatory grants, which include block grants, some 
formula-based grants, and entitlement grants. 

Work groups: Audit Oversight; 
Responsibilities: Improving the OMB Circular A-133 single audit process 
to ensure that audits provide useful and reliable information to 
federal agencies and pass-through entities and that recipient audits 
are in compliance with federal audit requirements. 

Work groups: Training and Certification; Responsibilities: Addressing 
governmentwide issues concerning the grants management workforce. 
Developing the grants management series as a professional series and 
developing standards for grants management training programs. (This 
group began organizing in January 2005.)

Source: Grants.gov. 

[A] These are noncompetitive grants for which eligibility is defined in 
statute. 

[End of table]

The cross-agency work groups have accomplishments that are expected to 
streamline grant activity for grantees, as described in table 2. For 
example, the Pre-Award Work Group focused on reducing the time a 
grantee must spend searching for information on grants. One concern was 
inconsistent announcement formats. The team believed that a consistent 
format for grant announcements would save time and reduce frustration 
for grantees that applied to different programs. The group also 
developed the standard set of data elements for the Grants.gov "find" 
feature, thereby ensuring that users of Grants.gov will find similar 
information in the same places for different grant descriptions. The 
Audit Work Group developed and distributed a pamphlet clarifying the 
single audit process.[Footnote 4] It also ensured that OMB Circular A-
133, Compliance Supplement, was updated annually. This update should 
ensure that grantees' auditors can more easily identify the criteria 
that they should use as they assess whether grantees are in compliance 
with grant requirements. 

One area on which the work groups made progress was establishing a 
common electronic system through which information on available grants 
could be found and applicants could apply for grants, now called 
Grants.gov.[Footnote 5] At that point, identifying grant opportunities 
required searching information from many agencies and applying for them 
using a variety of application forms and processes. The work groups 
developed a common format for the full announcement to be used 
governmentwide and a related set of data elements for an electronic 
synopsis of the announcement. Grants.gov, now administered by a program 
management office based in HHS, has provided the ability for potential 
grantees to search open grant opportunities by these key components, 
such as by the type of activity funded (e.g., education or the 
environment) and the agency providing funds. Grantees also can request 
notification of grant opportunities that meet certain parameters that 
they identify. Grant opportunities were initially provided on the 
system in February 2003, and in November 2003, OMB required that 
federal agencies post information on all discretionary grant-funding 
opportunities at the Web site. The Grants.gov Program Management Office 
reports that since October 2003 all 26 grant-making agencies have 
listed their discretionary grant opportunities. They also report high 
growth in usage of the portal; Grants.gov reports that in November 
2004, the "find" activity on the site received about 2.2 million page 
requests, up from about 633,000 in November 2003, and applicant e-mail 
notifications have averaged 600,000 to 700,000 weekly. 

More recently, Grants.gov has provided the capability to apply for 
grants electronically at a common portal and, to some extent, use 
common forms across agencies. Applicants can download an application 
package; complete the application off-line; and submit it 
electronically to Grants.gov, which transmits the application to the 
funding agency. Grant-making agencies work with the program management 
office staff to identify the forms needed, sometimes using the same 
forms as other programs and other agencies use. Grant applicants are 
notified electronically when agencies receive their applications. In 
some cases, agencies can download the grant application data directly 
to their own internal systems, thus eliminating the need for staff to 
input data. Use of the online applications, however, has been slow to 
grow. As of April 6, 2005, 6 of the 26 key grant-making agencies had 
not yet posted "apply" packages, and about 2,600 electronic 
applications had been received. Use of the system requires agencies to 
set up internal systems and, to some extent, have their forms loaded 
onto the site. Grantees must also complete a registration process, 
which we were told is time-consuming and might be viewed by some 
applicants as intimidating but is necessary, according to OMB 
officials, to ensure privacy and to maintain the security of the 
system. 

Funding for Grants.gov has shifted from obtaining contributions from 
key partners to obtaining a set amount from grant-making agencies. For 
fiscal years 2002 through 2004, Grants.gov was funded by contributions 
totaling about $29.4 million. Beginning with fiscal year 2005, it will 
be funded with payments from 26 grant-making agencies, based on an 
agency's total grant dollars awarded. For 2005 and 2006, the 6 large 
agencies will be assessed $754,467, the 10 medium agencies will be 
assessed $452,680, and the 10 small agencies will be assessed $226,340, 
for a total of about $11,300,000 each year. Appendix II provides more 
detailed information on Grants.gov and individual agency information on 
progress toward implementing its "apply" component. 

Table 2: Status of Streamlining Initiatives and Their Expected Impact 
on Grantees: 

Grant phase: Announce/find grant opportunity: 

Initiative: Standard announcement format; Status: Accomplished; 
Expected impact on grantee: Enable potential grantees to find grant 
information, such as eligibility requirements, in the full announcement 
more quickly. 

Initiative: Grants.gov "find" feature; Status: Accomplished; 
Expected impact on grantee: Provide a common, searchable online 
location for all open discretionary grant opportunities, with a link to 
the full announcement, and reduce the administrative burden on 
potential grantees of finding relevant grants. 

Grant phase: Grant application: 

Initiative: Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) requirement; Status: 
Accomplished; 
Expected impact on grantee: No direct benefit for grantees. 

Initiative: Grants.gov "apply" feature; Status: Accomplished; 
Expected impact on grantee: Provide a common online location for 
obtaining grant application forms and submitting a grant application. 

Initiative: Update the debarment and suspension and drug-free workplace 
common rules; Status: Accomplished; 
Expected impact on grantee: Benefit applicants and recipients by 
reconciling unnecessary differences, using plain language, and 
simplifying the requirements of the rules. 

Initiative: Adopt the SF-424 a standard federal form for research and 
related grant applications; Status: In progress; 
Expected impact on grantee: Reduce the number of different forms that 
grantees need to complete when applying to different agencies. 

Initiative: Expand Grants.gov "apply" feature to accept electronic 
plans and applications for mandatory grants; Status: In progress; 
Expected impact on grantee: Provide common location for submitting 
annual plans and updates. 

Grant phase: Application review and decision: 

Initiative: None; 
Status: --; 
Expected impact on grantee: --. 

Grant phase: Notification of grant award: 

Initiative: Standard award notice and standard governmentwide terms and 
conditions; Status: In progress; 
Expected impact on grantee: Reduce unnecessary burden on recipients by 
making federal agencies' awards as alike as practicable. 

Initiative: Post announcement of mandatory grant awards on Grants.gov; 
Status: In progress; 
Expected impact on grantee: Enable potential grantees to find pass-
through grant funding opportunities. Increase the transparency of 
federal grants policy. 

Grant phase: Payment: 

Initiative: Consolidate to three payment systems (applies only to the 
agencies subject to the Chief Financial Officers Act); Status: In 
progress; 
Expected impact on grantee: Reduce the number of payment systems with 
which grant recipients will need to interact, potentially saving 
software and staff training costs. 

Grant phase: Reporting: 

Initiative: Streamline cost principles; Status: Accomplished; 
Expected impact on grantee: Provide consistent descriptions and 
clarifying language for similar cost items across the three OMB cost 
principles circulars. 

Initiative: Develop: 
* Standard Federal Financial Report; 
* Standard Non-research Performance Progress Report; 
* Standard Research Progress Report; 
* Standard Personal Property Report; 
* Standard Real Property Report; 
* Standard Summary Report of Inventions; Status: In progress; 
Expected impact on grantee: Reduce the administrative burden of having 
different reports to complete for each associated grant-making agency. 

Initiative: Audit: 

Initiative: Improve agency access to audit information, including 
delinquent audits; Status: Accomplished; 
Expected impact on grantee: No direct benefit expected for grantees. 
(Primarily will benefit federal agencies by helping them to determine 
whether certain grantees are delinquent in submitting their audits, and 
enabling agencies to make better use of audit results in managing their 
grant programs and awards.)

Initiative: Update the OMB Circular A-133, Compliance Supplement, 
annually; Status: Accomplished; 
Expected impact on grantee: Provide auditors with accurate and up-to-
date information for the conduct of single audits. 

Initiative: Distribute a pamphlet, Highlights of the Single Audit 
Process, to federal recipients and federal agencies; Status: 
Accomplished; 
Expected impact on grantee: Ensure a better understanding of the single 
audit process and improve audit timeliness. 

Initiative: Increase the audit threshold for single audits from 
$300,000 to $500,000; Status: Accomplished; 
Expected impact on grantee: Fewer grantees will be subject to single 
audit requirements. 

Grant phase: Closeout: 

Initiative: None; 
Status: --; 
Expected impact on grantee: --. 

Grant phase: Crosscutting issues: 

Initiative: Colocate OMB guidance to agencies and agency regulations 
implementing the guidance in Title 2 of the C.F.R; Status: In progress; 
Expected impact on grantee: Make OMB guidance and agency regulations on 
grants easier to find and use. 

Source: GAO analysis of cross-agency annual reports and discussions 
with agency officials. 

[End of table]

Several reforms are partially under way but have not yet completed the 
approval process or been implemented, as shown in table 2. For example, 
a separate standard application form for research (and related) grants 
has been proposed, which will ensure that multiple agencies will be 
able to use the same application. This should simplify applications for 
grantees who apply for grants at multiple agencies, but this form is 
not yet approved. Similarly, the Post-Award Work Group has developed a 
common Performance Progress Report for nonresearch grants and has 
received agency comments on the proposed form. The group expects that 
this will reduce the concern that too many different progress reports 
are used, which poses a substantial administrative burden for grantees. 
The work group also developed several common forms, such as a Real 
Property Report (which addresses real property built with grant funds) 
and a federal financial report, which, as of December 22, 2004, was 
with OMB for approval. The Mandatory Work Group is developing a set of 
core data elements that could be used to post mandatory awards to the 
Grants.gov Web site, which an OMB official commented would enable 
potential contractors to be aware of funds that states and other 
entities were receiving. Additionally, based on an initiative begun by 
the Pre-Award Work Group, OMB has moved one of its circulars, which 
provides guidance, to a newly created Title 2 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations and plans that agencies will eventually colocate their 
grant regulations in the same title.[Footnote 6]

Common Systems for Managing Later Parts of Grant Life Cycle Are at 
Early Stages of Development: 

Although the Grants.gov portal has provided a common, electronic system 
for helping grantees identify and apply for grants, development of 
common, electronic systems for managing later stages of the grant life 
cycle has not progressed. When originally planned, the Grants.gov 
portal was envisioned as providing a common face to grantees for 
managing all phases of grants, from grantees' identification of 
appropriate grant opportunities through application, awarding, and 
management of the grants. However, in early 2004, OMB instructed 
Grants.gov officials to cease their efforts to develop common systems 
for the grant phases beyond application and to concentrate on ensuring 
that electronic applications were fully implemented at all grant-making 
agencies, since some agencies still were not participating or were 
participating at minimal levels. 

In March 2004, OMB initiated a governmentwide analysis of five lines of 
business that would support the President's Management Agenda goal of 
expanding electronic government, with one of them focusing on grants 
management.[Footnote 7] The team was to draft and finalize common 
solutions and a target architecture and present them for the fiscal 
year 2006 budget review. The grants management initiative was headed by 
representatives from the Department of Education and the National 
Science Foundation. 

The Grants Management Line of Business initiative has the specific 
objective of developing a governmentwide solution to support end-to-end 
grants management activities[Footnote 8] that promote citizen access, 
customer service, and agency financial and technical stewardship. To 
provide information, the team requested and analyzed information from 
interested parties on possible solutions and approaches. The team also 
surveyed grant-making agencies on their internal grant-making systems 
and found that about 40 different internal agency systems were 
operating, ranging from systems operating with almost no automation to 
systems that are fully automated. In evaluating the information, the 
team did not identify any end-to-end business or technical solution for 
grants management that would be able to meet the needs of all 26 
agencies without large investments in configuring and customization. 
Further, it found that while the early stages of the grant life cycle 
(i.e., connecting potential grantees with grant opportunities and the 
application process) were already handled consistently across grantor 
agencies, postaward activities are handled less consistently across 
agencies and would require flexibility in business rules. 

As a result, the team is proposing a consortia-based approach to 
continue streamlining and consolidating the end-to-end grant management 
process, but development of this system is not yet under way. It would 
use Grants.gov as a "storefront" to support grantees and would expand 
it beyond the current processes to include additional functions that 
interface with the grantees. Rather than develop one system that all 
agencies would use to manage grants internally, consortia of agencies 
with similar systems, such as agencies that primarily fund research 
grants, would be formed. Government, industry, or both will provide 
information technology service centers for agencies throughout the 
grant life cycle, an approach that is expected to reduce or eliminate 
the costs of multiple agencies developing and maintaining grants 
management systems. 

Coordination Activities Established across Agencies, but Initiatives 
Lack Continuing Input from Grantees: 

As P.L. 106-107 and the common plan emphasized, coordination among the 
agencies and with grantees in the planning and implementation of grant-
streamlining initiatives can increase the likelihood that the standard 
processes and policies developed will meet the diverse needs of all the 
stakeholder groups. While the agencies have established cross-agency 
processes to facilitate coordination activities, progress has been 
hampered by frequent changes in the groups that are implementing and 
overseeing the implementation of P.L. 106-107. The various grant-
streamlining initiatives have had different levels of coordination 
activities with grantees. The P.L. 106-107 work groups solicited input 
from the grantee community during their early planning stages, but do 
not have ongoing coordination activities. The Grants.gov initiative 
solicits ongoing input from grantees in a variety of ways. It is not 
yet clear if the Grants Management Line of Business initiative will 
include coordination activities with grantee groups. 

P.L. 106-107 requires OMB to direct and coordinate the federal agencies 
in establishing an interagency process for achieving grant streamlining 
and simplification. Furthermore, the act directs the federal agencies 
to actively participate in this interagency grant-streamlining and 
simplification process. Because the agencies are developing common 
policies and processes to meet their diverse grants management needs, a 
well-implemented interagency process can improve the likelihood of 
success of the grant-streamlining initiatives. In examining 
coordination issues, we have identified key practices that affect the 
likelihood for success of cross-organizational initiatives.[Footnote 9] 
These practices include establishing a collaborative organizational 
structure, maintaining collaborative relationships, and facilitating 
communication and outreach.[Footnote 10]

Agencies and OMB Coordinated Initiatives to Implement P.L. 106-107: 

A collaborative organizational structure, characterized by strong 
leadership and a comprehensive structure of participants' roles and 
responsibilities, can facilitate coordination activities. As shown in 
figure 2, OMB established several groups to lead and coordinate the 
effort to implement P.L. 106-107. The act allows OMB to designate a 
lead agency and establish interagency work groups to assist OMB in 
implementing the requirements of the act. OMB designated HHS as the 
lead agency for the implementation of P.L. 106-107. In the spring of 
2000, OMB charged the Grants Management Committee of the Chief 
Financial Officers Council with coordinating and overseeing the 
governmentwide implementation of P.L. 106-107. The Grants Management 
Committee included two representatives from each of the grant-making 
agencies. The committee established four working subcommittees: the Pre-
Award Work Group, the Post-Award Work Group, the Audit Oversight Work 
Group, and the Electronic Work Group. In addition, the committee 
established the General Policy and Oversight Team, which was co-chaired 
by OMB and HHS, and included the chairs of each of the work groups. The 
team was intended to oversee the progress of the work groups and 
examine issues that cut across the responsibilities of the individual 
work groups. 

Figure 2: P.L. 106-107 Implementation and Oversight Groups: 

[See PDF for image] 

[End of figure] 

According to officials involved with P.L. 106-107 implementation, the 
Grants Management Committee was ineffective, creating a stumbling block 
for the initiative. In May 2004, the Grants Executive Board assumed the 
responsibility for the coordination and oversight of P.L. 106-107 
initiatives. In an update to its charter, the Grants Executive Board 
(previously the Grants.gov Executive Board) expanded its oversight to 
include both the Grants.gov initiative and the P.L. 106-107 initiative. 
The Grants Executive Board has 13 members, one representative from each 
of the 11 larger grant-making agencies and two seats that rotate among 
the other 15 grant-making agencies. The Grants Executive Board meets 
monthly and, with the assistance of the HHS-led grant streamlining 
Program Management Office, oversees the work of the interagency grant 
streamlining work groups. The board's oversight duties include 
reviewing work group recommendations to determine if they should be 
referred to OMB for governmentwide implementation, defining 
accountability and reporting requirements to be met by the work groups, 
and preparing the annual progress reports for Congress. The Grants 
Executive Board also oversees the Grants.gov initiative, which is 
charged with implementing the grant-streamlining policies in the 
preaward phase of grants administration. 

The P.L. 106-107 Planning and Oversight Committee is the coordinating 
body for the grant-streamlining work groups and advises the Grants 
Executive Board. Its membership consists of the chairs of each of the 
work groups, a representative of the Grants.gov Program Management 
Office, the P.L. 106-107 Program Manager, and an OMB representative. 
Agency volunteers staff the work groups. Volunteer staffing is a 
challenge for the work groups because the volunteers maintain their 
regular agency responsibilities. According to work group chairs, the 
volunteer staff members are dedicated, knowledgeable, and experienced 
in grants policy and processes. HHS selects the chair of each work 
group, but does not limit the size of the work groups so that all 
interested agencies may participate. According to the P.L. 106-107 
Program Manager, not all agencies are participating in the work groups. 
Agencies that do not participate will not have input into the design of 
governmentwide grant policies, increasing the risk that the new 
policies will not meet the needs of all grant-making agencies. 

Interagency efforts toward a second key element of coordination--
maintaining collaborative relationships--have been mixed. The major 
elements of maintaining collaborative relationships include a shared 
vision among participants and formal agreements with a clear purpose, 
common performance outputs, and realistic performance measures. The 
agencies helped to establish a cooperative, shared vision by jointly 
developing the initial implementation plan, which establishes goals and 
objectives to meet the requirements of P.L. 106-107. However, while the 
plan outlines preliminary steps toward achieving its objectives, it 
does not outline a comprehensive plan beyond those first steps. 
Furthermore, the time targets in the plan are primarily short-term 
targets related to preliminary steps. The annual cross-agency progress 
report can be a tool to maintain the shared vision established in the 
initial plan. According to work group leaders, the work group 
volunteers from the agencies are committed to the goals of grant 
streamlining and simplification. In addition to the cross-agency 
progress report, each agency is required to submit an annual agency 
progress report. This requirement has the potential to be an effective 
management tool for monitoring the compliance and progress of 
individual agencies. However, because the reports do not frame annual 
achievements in the context of a comprehensive plan and use performance 
measures to track progress, they are not an effective management tool. 
Furthermore, not all the agencies have submitted their annual reports, 
and OMB's position is that it is not their role to police agency 
compliance with this requirement. Because the agencies have not 
developed a comprehensive plan and are not reporting on their progress 
using common performance measures, they are less likely to maintain the 
shared vision that was established with the common plan. 

Implementation of a third key element of coordination practices, 
communication and outreach, has not always been effective. Leaders of 
the initiatives hold regular meetings to share information with one 
another. For example, the P. L. 106-107 Planning and Oversight 
Committee meets monthly to facilitate coordination between the work 
groups. However, the Audit Oversight Work Group Chair position has been 
vacant for the past 18 months, so although the audit subgroups continue 
their work, they have little contact with the other grant-streamlining 
groups. Informal coordination between the various grant-streamlining 
initiatives occurs because often the same people serve on multiple 
committees. Outreach from the initiatives to the agencies has also not 
always been effective. For example, the Post-Award Work Group sends 
proposals or draft reports to the agencies, but they do not always 
reach the necessary people because some agencies are very large and 
have complex organizational structures. 

OMB and Grant Executive Board Working on Resolving Governance Issues, 
but Overlapping Responsibilities and Lack of Clarity Are Hampering 
Progress: 

The future relationship between the Grants Management Line of Business, 
P.L. 106-107 work groups, and the Grants.gov Program Management Office 
is unclear. This management situation appears to have hampered 
progress. OMB plans to form a Grants Governance Committee to oversee 
three program management offices working on grant streamlining and 
simplification. The Grants Governance Committee will oversee the 
Grants.gov initiative, the P.L. 106-107 initiative, and the Grants 
Management Line of Business initiative. However, there will be a 
separate program management office for each initiative, and there 
appears to be overlap between the responsibilities of the three 
initiatives. Representatives of two of the work groups reported that 
there has been little communication between the Line of Business 
initiative and the P.L. 106-107 work groups. Work group members said 
they are reluctant to go forward with new projects because they do not 
know if their priorities will be consistent with those of the Line of 
Business initiative. For example, the Line of Business initiative 
appears to be planning to rely on Grants.gov for its "find" and "apply" 
functions, but it is not yet clear if Grants.gov will be the portal 
used by the grantee in the later stages of the grant life cycle. In 
anticipation of the start of the Line of Business initiative, OMB has 
directed Grants.gov to focus its efforts on the functionality of the 
"find" and "apply" functions. The Grants.gov Program Manager reported 
that, accordingly, the Grants.gov office is holding off on efforts to 
incorporate processes related to the later stages of the grants life 
cycle. Because grant management and reporting rely on information 
gathered in the "apply" stage, there should be some integration between 
these functions. 

Efforts to Solicit and Use Input from Grantees Have Been Mixed: 

P.L. 106-107 obligates OMB and the agencies to consult with 
representatives of nonfederal entities during the development and 
implementation of grant-streamlining plans, policies, and systems. In 
addition to its general directive to consult and coordinate with 
grantees, the act requires the agencies to publish the implementation 
plan in the Federal Register for public comment; hold public forums on 
the plan; and cooperate with grantees to define goals, objectives, and 
performance measures related to the objectives of the act. In prior 
work, we have found that collaborative activities include communication 
strategies that facilitate two-way communication among the project 
team, partners, and other stakeholders, and that outreach programs keep 
those affected by the initiative informed of new developments and 
provide structured means for feedback and questions.[Footnote 11] By 
failing to involve important stakeholders, the initiatives increase the 
risk that they will not fully achieve the objectives defined in P.L. 
106-107 and the common plan. 

In its early work, the groups established by OMB and its lead grant 
streamlining agency, HHS, undertook efforts to coordinate and consult 
with the grantee communities. The Grants Management Committee created a 
Web site that provided information about the work groups' activities in 
implementing the act and invited public input. Individual agencies also 
sought input through invitations to comment posted on their Web sites. 
In the fall of 2000, the Grants Management Committee held a series of 
five interagency public consultation meetings with (1) states, (2) 
local governments, (3) Native American tribes and tribal organizations, 
(4) universities and nonprofit organizations that conduct research, and 
(5) other nonprofit organizations. Throughout this process, the teams 
built a database of the public comments and used them to develop the 
common plan. The plan considers those comments and, in large part, is 
based on them. In January 2001, the agencies jointly published the 
interim/draft plan in the Federal Register and requested public 
comment. 

The common plan outlines two processes for maintaining ongoing 
communication with grantee groups. First, it envisions the 
establishment of an ombudsman, a third party operating apart from the 
individual grant-making agencies and OMB that could provide grantees 
with an avenue for making their concerns known if agency requirements 
appear to exceed the standards adopted. Second, the agencies planned to 
establish performance measures[Footnote 12] related to the purposes and 
requirements of the act and a process for assessing the extent to which 
specified goals and objectives have been achieved. In developing the 
performance measures, the agencies were to consider input from 
applicants, recipients, and other stakeholders. The agencies planned to 
develop multiple measures to assess performance, including progress as 
perceived by the public and federal staff as well as objective process 
and outcome measures. The agencies expected to use these performance 
measures to evaluate their performance in meeting the plan's goals and 
objectives and report annually on their progress as required by P.L. 
106-107. 

As the streamlining reforms have been developed and implemented, the 
agencies and work groups have not fulfilled the envisioned processes 
for soliciting ongoing input from grantees. By failing to involve 
important stakeholders, the initiatives increase the risk that they 
will not fully achieve the objectives defined in P.L. 106-107 and the 
common plan. The plan envisioned the establishment of an ombudsman that 
could provide applicants/recipients an avenue for making their concerns 
known if agency requirements appear to deviate from the common systems 
or standard processes. The common plan set a target date of March 31, 
2002, for finalizing the job description of the ombudsman. The agencies 
have not established the ombudsman position and do not currently plan 
to establish one due to changing priorities. In addition, the agencies 
have neither set specific annual goals and objectives nor used concrete 
performance measures in the annual progress reports, as was required by 
P.L. 106-107 and envisioned in the common plan. However, the P.L. 106-
107 Program Manager is currently conducting an analysis of progress to 
date in meeting the requirements of P.L. 106-107 and an analysis of how 
the reforms have addressed the concerns expressed in the public 
comments. 

Furthermore, only one of the four active cross-agency work groups 
consistently uses the public comments during the development of its 
initiatives. The Pre-Award Work Group, which addresses the streamlining 
of announcements, applications, and award processes, has continued to 
use the public comments to inform its work. The other work groups 
informally vet their proposals with selected grantee groups. Grantees 
are not formally involved in the development of grant-streamlining 
proposals. The grant-streamlining teams solicit public comment only 
once a proposal is posted in the Federal Register. Representatives from 
a group of research grantees told us that this one-way communication is 
not sufficient to produce reforms that simplify the grant process for 
recipients. For example, they commented that the reform of the cost 
principles focused only on reducing the discrepancies in definitions 
used by the three different cost principles circulars and actually 
increased the administrative burden for the research community. The 
work groups have expressed concern that in seeking public input, they 
must take care not to violate the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 
1972 (FACA), which establishes requirements pertaining to the creation, 
operation, duration, and review of covered advisory committees. 
However, because nonfederal participants do not act as full members, 
the work groups should not be subject to the FACA requirements. 
[Footnote 13] Furthermore, FACA would not limit the work groups' 
ability to widely publicize their initiatives and invite public comment 
on an ongoing basis. 

The Grants.gov initiative has been more active in soliciting grantee 
input, but it is unclear if the Line of Business initiative will 
include activities to coordinate with grantees. In contrast to the P.L. 
106-107 initiative, the Grants.gov initiative has institutionalized 
processes to inform the grantee community about its plans and 
activities and to gather ongoing input from the grantee community. 
Throughout development and implementation of Grants.gov, users' 
comments from pilots and actual systems have been used to identify and 
address problems. Grants.gov has also conducted three user satisfaction 
surveys and maintains a Web portal for user comments. The Web site of 
the grant-streamlining teams was recently integrated into the 
Grants.gov Web site. The site invites public comment on both the 
Grants.gov system and broader grant-streamlining issues and 
initiatives. In addition, the Grants.gov Program Management Office 
conducted training and outreach to the various applicant constituencies 
and to agency staff to increase awareness of the Grants.gov initiative. 
Outreach efforts included monthly stakeholder meetings, train-the-
trainer workshops, and grantor workshops. A help desk was established 
to address federal staff and applicants' questions and provide 
assistance. At this time, it is unclear if the Grants Management Line 
of Business initiative will include a process for consultation and 
coordination with grantee groups. 

Conclusions: 

Several initiatives to simplify and streamline the administration of 
grants have been proposed in response to P.L. 106-107. Some of these 
have been implemented and likely will help grantees to identify and 
apply for grants and meet the needs of federal grant-making agencies 
when they receive grants. The Grants.gov common portal is clearly used 
by many to identify grants and undoubtedly has simplified that process 
for grantees. As more agencies allow for electronic application through 
Grants.gov and more grantees begin to use the system, it should also 
simplify grant management. However, other initiatives that have been 
proposed have not yet been completed. Some have languished in the 
approval process. Others have not yet been adequately developed to even 
reach the approval stage. The lack of clear goals and timelines for the 
cross-agency work groups to complete tasks and for agencies to 
implement systems undoubtedly has contributed to the lack of progress 
in implementing these proposals. Further, agencies need to be held 
accountable internally for implementing these programs and should have 
performance measures and clear deadlines on which they report. To date, 
agencies have not even been held accountable for submitting annual 
reports required by P.L. 106-107, which may indicate to agencies that 
moving forward quickly on grant administration streamlining is not a 
high priority. 

In addition, the lack of continuity toward meeting P.L. 106-107's 
requirement to develop a common reporting system (including electronic 
processes) for similar programs administered by different agencies may 
potentially prevent agencies from reaching the act's goals before it 
sunsets in November 2007. As overarching committees have evolved and 
management of the cross-agency programs have been moved around among 
various parties, progress has been slowed. Clearer governance is needed 
to ensure that each group sunderstands its roles and coordinates with 
the others to prevent overlap and collaborate on common initiatives. 

The various initiatives that are implementing P.L. 106-107 have a mixed 
record of coordinating with grantees. Grants.gov publicizes its plans 
and meeting minutes on its Web site and solicits ongoing grantee input 
through its Web site, regular satisfaction surveys, and outreach 
meetings with grantees. In planning for the implementation of the act, 
the cross-agency work groups also solicited and used grantee input. In 
addition, they incorporated several means for soliciting ongoing 
grantee input in the plan. However, they did not implement the portions 
of the initial plan that would have provided for ongoing coordination 
with grantees. Unlike Grants.gov, the work groups have neither made 
information about their work public nor solicited ongoing grantee 
input, and approaches outlined in the common plan, such as establishing 
an ombudsman position, have not been implemented. Without ongoing 
grantee input, the reforms are less likely to meet the needs of the 
grantees and achieve the purposes of the act. 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

In order to augment the progress toward meeting the goals of P.L. 106-
107 for streamlining grant administration, we recommend that the 
Director, OMB, take the following five actions: 

* ensure that individual agency and cross-agency initiatives have clear 
goals for completion of their initiatives;

* ensure that agency annual progress reports to Congress and OMB on 
implementation of P.L. 106-107 are prepared and contain information on 
their progress toward goals;

* ensure that efforts to develop common grant-reporting systems are 
undertaken on a schedule that will result in significant progress by 
the time P.L. 106-107 sunsets in November 2007;

* ensure that OMB's strategy for addressing P.L. 106-107 integrates the 
three individual initiatives: HHS's overarching P.L. 106-107 efforts, 
the Grants.gov program, and the Grants Management Line of Business 
initiative; and: 

* solicit grantee input and provide for coordination with grantees on 
an ongoing basis. 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

We provided a draft of this report to OMB for comment. OMB's formal 
comments are reprinted in appendix III. In addition to written 
comments, OMB provided us with technical comments verbally, which we 
incorporated as appropriate. 

In its formal comments, OMB stated that it agreed with many of the 
report's recommendations and provided comments on the status of grant 
reform efforts. OMB stated it will continue to work aggressively with 
agencies to meet their annual reporting responsibilities and is 
committed to achieving E-Gov solutions and deploying technical 
solutions for streamlining policies and practices. Further, OMB 
commented that it will continue to facilitate the integration of the 
three grants initiatives related to P.L. 106-107 requirements and will 
continue to seek grantee input on an ongoing basis. 

We believe that these steps constitute progress toward ensuring that 
the goals of P.L. 106-107 are attained, although OMB needs to 
aggressively push forward. For example, while it has established a new 
grants committee, it needs to ensure that progress does not slow while 
this transition occurs. Although the Grants Management Line of Business 
initiative is under way, OMB needs to ensure that efforts to address 
P.L. 106-107 requirements, such as the development of common electronic 
systems to manage and report on the use of funding from similar federal 
grant programs administered by different agencies, move forward. 
Similarly, while public input was sought heavily during the development 
of the common plan and is sought once proposals are developed, the 
grantee community's views need to be solicited throughout these 
processes and as new initiatives are selected. 

We are sending copies of this report to the Director of OMB. In 
addition, the report will be available at no charge on the GAO Web site 
at [Hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov]. Should you have any questions about 
this report, please contact me at (202) 512-6806 or Thomas James, 
Assistant Director, at (202) 512-2996. We can also be reached by e-mail 
at [Hyperlink, posnerp@gao.gov] and [Hyperlink, jamest@gao.gov], 
respectively. Additional key contributors to this report are listed in 
appendix IV. 

Signed by: 

Paul L. Posner: 
Managing Director, Federal Budget Analysis and Intergovernmental 
Relations Issues, Strategic Issues: 

[End of section]

Appendixes: 

Appendix I: P.L. 106-107 Annual Reports Submitted to Congress as of 
March 1, 2005: 

P.L. 106-107 requires each agency to report annually on its progress 
implementing the plan, although not all agencies have regularly 
submitted these reports. The annual agency progress report summarizes 
agency efforts in meeting the goals and objectives of the common plan. 

The annual governmentwide progress reports describe the collaborative 
efforts of 26 federal agencies to streamline and simplify the award and 
administration of federal grants. (See table 3.)

Table 3: P.L. 106-107 Annual Reports Submitted to Congress as of March 
1, 2005: 

Governmentwide; 
2002; 
2003; 
2004. 

Agency for International Development; 2003. 

Corporation for National and Community Service; 2003; 
2004. 

Department of Agriculture; 
2004. 

Department of Commerce; 
2002; 
2003; 
2004. 

Department of Defense; 
2002; 
2003; 
2004. 

Department of Education; 
2003; 
2004. 

Department of Energy; 
2003; 
2004. 

Department of Health and Human Services; 2002; 
2003; 
2004. 

Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency; 
2003; 
2004. 

Department of Housing and Urban Development; 2003; 
2004. 

Department of the Interior; 
2004. 

Department of Justice; 
2002; 
2003; 
2004. 

Department of Labor; 
2002; 
2003; 
2004. 

Department of State; 
2002; 
2003; 
2004. 

Department of Transportation; 
None.

Department of the Treasury; 
2003; 
2004. 

Department of Veterans Affairs; 
2003. 

Environmental Protection Agency; 
2002; 
2003; 
2004. 

Institute of Museum and Library Services; 2003; 
2004. 

National Aeronautics and Space Administration; 2003; 
2004. 

National Archives and Records Administration; 2003; 
2004. 

National Endowment for the Arts; 
2002; 
2003; 
2004. 

National Endowment for the Humanities; 2002; 
2003; 
2004. 

National Science Foundation; 
2003; 
2004. 

Small Business Administration; 
None.

Social Security Administration; 
2003; 
2004. 

Source: HHS. 

[End of table]

[End of section]

Appendix II: Detailed Information on Grants.gov: 

As cross-agency teams identified the need for streamlining, agency 
representatives and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
recognized that potential grantees needed a simpler and more consistent 
way to identify and apply for federal grant opportunities. The process 
in place for identifying grant opportunities resulted in applicants 
searching for applications from many different agencies and then having 
to apply to the various agencies using different application forms and 
processes. Public comments from the grantee community identified the 
lack of a central source for obtaining information about all federal 
agencies' current funding opportunities and the variation in the way 
agencies' grant announcements were organized. P.L. 106-107 required 
that OMB coordinate grant-making agencies in establishing an 
interagency process to streamline and simplify these procedures for 
nonfederal entities. Further, it required that the agencies allow 
applicants to electronically apply and report on the use of funds from 
grant programs they administer. The E-grant initiative, along with 
other E-government approaches, was undertaken to meet these needs. It 
was implemented initially by the E-Grants Program Management Office 
based in the Department of Health and Human Services, which was the 
lead agency for P.L. 106-107 implementation. More recently, it has been 
referred to as Grants.gov, the Internet portal through which it is 
accessed. 

The first service that Grants.gov implemented was the "find" 
capability, which established a single Web site to provide information 
on federal grant-funding opportunities. This enabled applicants to 
search these opportunities by several components, such as the type of 
activity funded (e.g., the arts and humanities, education, and the 
environment) and the agency providing funds. Further, it provided the 
capability of notifying potential fund recipients by e-mail of new 
opportunities that met parameters they identified. In addition, 
descriptions of funding opportunities were organized uniformly to 
simplify finding key information. Agencies began posting summaries in 
February 2003. A key aspect of its full implementation was OMB's 
requirement that by November 7, 2003, all federal agencies were to 
electronically post information on funding opportunities that award 
discretionary grants and cooperative agreements at the Grant.gov Web 
site, using a standard set of data elements. Grants.gov's program 
management office reports that since October 2003, all 26 grant-making 
agencies have listed grant opportunities in the "find" activity of 
Grants.gov. The public's use of the portal has grown significantly; 
according to the Program Management Office, the "find" activity on 
Grants.gov received about 2.2 million page requests in November 2004 
and applicant e-mail notifications have averaged 600,000 to 700,000 
weekly. 

More recently, Grants.gov has provided the capability to apply for 
grants electronically through the portal. The "apply" activity allows 
an applicant to download an application package from Grants.gov and 
complete the application off-line. After an applicant completes the 
required forms, they can be submitted electronically to Grants.gov, 
which transmits the application to the funding agency. Grant-making 
agencies must take several steps to provide the capability to apply 
electronically. They work with Grants.gov Program Management Office 
staff to identify the forms needed and make them accessible. Previous 
forms that grant-making agencies have used for similar application 
packages are readily available as are forms that other agencies have 
used that might be appropriate, thus simplifying the process of adding 
new applications. The agencies identify how long they would like the 
application packages to be retained on the site after they close; after 
that, they are archived on the site. While some agencies have enabled 
applicants to apply electronically directly on Grants.gov, some 
announcements link to a grant announcement in the Federal Register or 
link to more detail on the "find" site, which the applicant completes 
in hard copy. To apply for grants electronically, the applicant must 
download specific free software--Pure Edge Viewer. After an application 
is submitted, the Grants.gov system checks the application to ensure 
all the required forms are included and sends the applicant an e-mail 
saying that it has been accepted, or rejected if a problem has been 
identified. If accepted, the application is then forwarded from 
Grants.gov to the grantor agency; when that agency downloads the data, 
it informs the Grants.gov system and the applicant is informed by 
Grants.gov that data have been downloaded to the agency. In some cases, 
agencies can download data directly to their own grant management 
systems, thus eliminating the need for staff time to input data. 

Usage of the electronic "apply" component has been slower to grow than 
the use of the "find" component for a number of reasons. As shown in 
table 4, as of April 6, 2005, 20 of the 26 key federal grant-making 
agencies have posted "apply" packages, 723 electronic application 
packages were available, and 2,621 electronic applications have been 
received. For agencies, forms must be uploaded to the system. Further, 
some are struggling with setting up their systems to handle the data 
from Grants.gov. For grantees, some necessary registration steps 
require lead time--an estimated 6 days that must be allowed for the 
entire registration process the first time. This verifies that the 
grantee point of contact is the appropriate person to submit an 
application. Grant.gov's surveys to determine users' satisfaction with 
the system have also identified dissatisfaction on other aspects, such 
as the adequacy of the status page and the ease of submitting the 
applications. 

Table 4: Status of Agency Participation in Grants.gov "Apply" Component 
(as of April 6, 2005): 

Agency: Agency for International Development; Number of apply packages 
posted: 1; Number of electronic applications received: 3. 

Agency: Corporation for National and Community Service; Number of apply 
packages posted: 0; Number of electronic applications received: 0. 

Agency: Department of Defense; 
Number of apply packages posted: 0; Number of electronic applications 
received: 0. 

Agency: Department of Agriculture; Number of apply packages posted: 38; 
Number of electronic applications received: 188. 

Agency: Department of Commerce; 
Number of apply packages posted: 178; Number of electronic applications 
received: 532. 

Agency: Department of Education; 
Number of apply packages posted: 26; Number of electronic applications 
received: 196. 

Agency: Department of Energy; 
Number of apply packages posted: 28; Number of electronic applications 
received: 120. 

Agency: Department of Health and Human Services; Number of apply 
packages posted: 325; Number of electronic applications received: 860. 

Agency: Department of Homeland Security; Number of apply packages 
posted: 1; Number of electronic applications received: 2. 

Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development; Number of apply 
packages posted: 44; Number of electronic applications received: 41. 

Agency: Department of Justice; 
Number of apply packages posted: 5; Number of electronic applications 
received: 84. 

Agency: Department of Labor; 
Number of apply packages posted: 6; Number of electronic applications 
received: 54. 

Agency: Department of the Interior; Number of apply packages posted: 
11; Number of electronic applications received: 175. 

Agency: Department of State; 
Number of apply packages posted: 4; Number of electronic applications 
received: 2. 

Agency: Department of the Treasury; Number of apply packages posted: 2; 
Number of electronic applications received: 7. 

Agency: Department of Transportation; Number of apply packages posted: 
17; Number of electronic applications received: 4. 

Agency: Department of Veterans Affairs; Number of apply packages 
posted: 1; Number of electronic applications received: 1. 

Agency: Environmental Protection Agency; Number of apply packages 
posted: 10; Number of electronic applications received: 58. 

Agency: Institute of Museum and Library Services; Number of apply 
packages posted: 0; Number of electronic applications received: 0. 

Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration; Number of apply 
packages posted: 0; Number of electronic applications received: 0. 

Agency: National Archives and Records Administration; Number of apply 
packages posted: 0; Number of electronic applications received: 0. 

Agency: National Endowment for the Arts; Number of apply packages 
posted: 5; Number of electronic applications received: 23. 

Agency: National Endowment for the Humanities; Number of apply packages 
posted: 13; Number of electronic applications received: 38. 

Agency: National Science Foundation; Number of apply packages posted: 
0; Number of electronic applications received: 0. 

Agency: Small Business Administration; Number of apply packages posted: 
2; Number of electronic applications received: 7. 

Agency: Social Security Administration; Number of apply packages 
posted: 6; Number of electronic applications received: 226. 

Total; 
Number of apply packages posted: 723 packages (20 agencies); Number of 
electronic applications received: 2,621. 

Source: Grants.gov Program Management Office. 

[End of table]

Grants.gov staff members have reached out to both agencies and the 
grantee community, sometimes through the use of a contractor, to 
solicit input and to increase its usage. They have provided training 
and workshops to grant-making agencies and have hosted monthly 
stakeholder meetings to update users on changes. The Grants.gov Program 
Manager meets monthly with the Grants.gov Executive Board, comprising 
senior executives of partner agencies, to update them on activities and 
get guidance on strategic issues. As outreach to the grantee community, 
staff members have given presentations and provide resources to 
agencies to inform their grantee communities. Also, a "contact center" 
is available for grant applicants to assist with the electronic 
applications. 

With the growth of its services, the operations of the Grants.gov 
office Program Management Office have evolved. As of December 2004, the 
Program Management Office has several full-time employees, including a 
Program Manager and a Deputy Program Manager, and additional detailees 
from grantor agencies. It has not received direct appropriations but 
was funded during the period from 2002 to 2004 by contributions from 13 
grant-making agencies, the Chief Financial Officers Council, and the 
General Services Administration (for maintenance of the Grants.gov 
"find" mechanism). Funding for those 3 years totaled about $29.4 
million. Beginning with fiscal year 2005, Grants.gov has moved to a fee-
for-service model. Funding will be from 26 grant-making agencies, with 
payments based on an agency's total grant dollars awarded. Based on 
natural break points in data on funds that the agencies award, the 
grant-making agencies were divided into three categories. For 2005 and 
2006, the 6 large agencies will be assessed $754,467, the 10 medium 
agencies will be assessed $452,680, and the 10 small agencies will be 
assessed $226,340, for a total of about $11,300,000 each year. 

[End of section]

Appendix III: Comments from the Office of Management and Budget: 

EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT: OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET: 
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20503:

DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR MANAGEMENT:

MAR 30 2005:

Mr. Paul Posner: 
Managing Director: 
Federal Budget and Intergovernmental Relations: Government 
Accountability Office:
441 G Street, NW: 
Washington, DC 20548:

Dear Mr. Posner:

I am writing with regard to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) 
draft report entitled, "Grants Management: Additional Actions Needed to 
Streamline and Simplify Processes" (GAO-05-335). Thank you for the 
opportunity to provide written comments on this draft report, as well 
as the many technical edits we suggested during a teleconference call 
on March 24, 2005.

We appreciate GAO's extensive review of the interagency activities-both 
completed and underway-to implement the requirements of the Federal 
Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act (P.L. 106-107). We are 
pleased the draft report recognizes the progress made in many areas, 
such as the government-wide standard announcement format and the 
electronic option available to the public for finding and applying for 
Federal grants. We agree with many of the report's recommendations, and 
offer the following comments:

* The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) continues to actively work 
with the groups involved with streamlining grants administration to 
better ensure there are clear goals for individual agencies, as well as 
for the three grants-related initiatives. OMB uses a number of 
mechanisms, including budget and other policy guidance, to establish 
clear performance goals for the initiatives and agencies' 
implementation of them. OMB monitors progress towards these goals with 
the President's Management Agenda Scorecard.

* OMB will continue to aggressively work with the agencies to meet 
their annual reporting responsibilities under Section 5(b) of P.L. 106-
107. Each year, OMB assists the interagency groups to develop cross-
agency accomplishments, as well as a template that agencies may use to 
report on agency-specific accomplishments. OMB reminds the agencies of 
the deadline (established as August 31 each year) and promptly reviews 
each agency's draft report prior to submission to Congress.

OMB is committed to achieving citizen-centered E-Gov solutions and 
better ensuring proper deployment of technical solutions to support 
streamlining policies and practices. The Grants Management Line of 
Business initiative is underway to develop a common solution for grant 
reporting, and OMB continues to take the necessary steps to better 
ensure efforts remain on track.

* OMB will continue to facilitate the integration of the three grants-
related initiatives to collectively implement the requirements of P.L. 
106-107. In addition, a new grants committee has been established under 
the Chief Financial Officers Council to ensure consistent policies 
among the initiatives.

* OMB will continue to seek grantee input on an on-going basis for the 
grants streamlining work. For example, all new proposed policies, as 
well as related government-wide datasets, are published in the Federal 
Register for public comment. We have made considerable outreach efforts 
with various grantee groups to make in-progress information available 
to the public. OMB has also accompanied the working groups at several 
informal meetings conducted for the purpose of soliciting grantee 
input. We will work with the cross-agency work groups to establish 
additional performance measures beyond those already established for 
the electronic deployment aspects of grants streamlining.

OMB will continue to work with. Federal agencies and grantees in their 
efforts to streamline the grants administration policies and processes.

Thank you for the opportunity to review and comment on your draft 
report on this important issue.

Sincerely,

Signed by: 

Clay Johnson III: 

[End of section]

Appendix IV: GAO Contacts and Staff Acknowledgments: 

GAO Contacts: 

Paul L. Posner, (202) 512-6806; 
Thomas James, (202) 512-2996: 

Acknowledgments: 

In addition to the above contacts, Jack Burriesci, Martin De Alteriis, 
Patricia Dalton, Susan Etzel, Ronald La Due Lake, Hannah Laufe, Donna 
Miller, Melissa Mink, and Carol Patey also made key contributions. 

(450316): 

FOOTNOTES

[1] As defined in the act, "federal financial assistance" includes 
grants, cooperative agreements, loans, loan guarantees, insurance, 
interest subsidies, and other forms of assistance. Pub. L. No. 106-107, 
§4. The current streamlining efforts have focused on grants and 
cooperative agreements. In our evaluation we have also limited our 
assessment to grants and cooperative agreements and, for simplicity, 
refer to them as grants. 

[2] GAO, Federal Assistance: Grant System Continues to Be Highly 
Fragmented, GAO-03-718T (Washington, D.C.: Apr. 29, 2003). 

[3] Pub. L. No. 95-224, §9. 

[4] Single audits, required by the Single Audit Act of 1984 (Pub. L. 
No. 98-502) as amended by the Single Audit Act Amendments of 1996 (Pub. 
L. No. 104-156), streamline and improve the effectiveness of audits of 
federal awards and reduce the audit burden on states, local 
governments, and nonprofit entities receiving federal awards by 
replacing multiple grant audits with one audit of a recipient as a 
whole. 

[5] Formerly, Grants.gov was referred to as E-Grants. It is one of the 
"E-gov" initiatives and supports the President's Management Agenda goal 
of expanding electronic government. 

[6] Although located in the Code of Federal Regulations, the OMB 
circulars and policy documents will still be guidance to federal 
agencies, not regulations. 

[7] The other groups address financial management, human resources 
management, federal health architecture, and case management. 

[8] End-to-end activities would address steps in the entire grant life 
cycle from informing potential grantees of a funding opportunity to 
closing out and auditing grants. 

[9] GAO, Electronic Government: Potential Exists for Enhancing 
Collaboration on Four Initiatives, GAO-04-6 (Washington, D.C.: Oct. 10, 
2003). 

[10] Two other key coordination practices identified in the report, 
contributing resources equitably and adopting a common set of 
standards, are more relevant for formal collaboration agreements and 
less relevant to the varying levels of coordination needed in the grant-
streamlining work. 

[11] GAO-04-6. 

[12] The agencies planned to use a "balanced scorecard" approach to 
measure success in implementing the act. 

[13] FACA does not apply to committees or work groups that are composed 
wholly of full-time or permanent part-time officials or employees of 
the federal government. See Federal Advisory Committee Act, Pub. L. No. 
92-463, §3(2) (codified as amended at 5 U.S.C. App. 2). However, if 
nonfederal participants regularly attend and fully participate in the 
work group meetings as members, the issue may arise as to whether the 
nonfederal participants could be construed as full members of the work 
group. See in Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc. v. 
Clinton, 997 F.2d 898, 302 (D.C. Cir. 1993), for a discussion of when a 
working group composed of federal employees may constitute a FACA 
advisory committee. 

GAO's Mission: 

The Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of 
Congress, exists to support Congress in meeting its constitutional 
responsibilities and to help improve the performance and accountability 
of the federal government for the American people. GAO examines the use 
of public funds; evaluates federal programs and policies; and provides 
analyses, recommendations, and other assistance to help Congress make 
informed oversight, policy, and funding decisions. GAO's commitment to 
good government is reflected in its core values of accountability, 
integrity, and reliability. 

Obtaining Copies of GAO Reports and Testimony: 

The fastest and easiest way to obtain copies of GAO documents at no 
cost is through the Internet. GAO's Web site ( www.gao.gov ) contains 
abstracts and full-text files of current reports and testimony and an 
expanding archive of older products. The Web site features a search 
engine to help you locate documents using key words and phrases. You 
can print these documents in their entirety, including charts and other 
graphics. 

Each day, GAO issues a list of newly released reports, testimony, and 
correspondence. GAO posts this list, known as "Today's Reports," on its 
Web site daily. The list contains links to the full-text document 
files. To have GAO e-mail this list to you every afternoon, go to 
www.gao.gov and select "Subscribe to e-mail alerts" under the "Order 
GAO Products" heading. 

Order by Mail or Phone: 

The first copy of each printed report is free. Additional copies are $2 
each. A check or money order should be made out to the Superintendent 
of Documents. GAO also accepts VISA and Mastercard. Orders for 100 or 
more copies mailed to a single address are discounted 25 percent. 
Orders should be sent to: 

U.S. Government Accountability Office

441 G Street NW, Room LM

Washington, D.C. 20548: 

To order by Phone: 

Voice: (202) 512-6000: 

TDD: (202) 512-2537: 

Fax: (202) 512-6061: 

To Report Fraud, Waste, and Abuse in Federal Programs: 

Contact: 

Web site: www.gao.gov/fraudnet/fraudnet.htm

E-mail: fraudnet@gao.gov

Automated answering system: (800) 424-5454 or (202) 512-7470: 

Public Affairs: 

Jeff Nelligan, managing director,

NelliganJ@gao.gov

(202) 512-4800

U.S. Government Accountability Office,

441 G Street NW, Room 7149

Washington, D.C. 20548: