Davis Applauds GAO Report On Grants.gov


April 29, 2009
U.S. Representative Danny K. Davis Applauds the Recommendations toEnsure Smooth Processing of Recovery Grants Released by the U.S.Government Accountability Office

Washington, D.C – OnWednesday, April 29, Congressman Danny K. Davis (D-IL) applauded therecommendations released by the U.S. Government Accountability Office(GAO) to ensure a smooth application process for the grants availableunder the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.   Mr. Davis said,“Grants.gov is the central resource for identifying and applying forfederal grants.  After hearing multiple concerns from Chicagoans overthe last few years about the functioning of Grants.gov, I led theCongressional effort to ask the GAO to investigate the strengths andlimitations of the electronic system and to identify recommendations toimprove its operation.  These recommendations will help protect thedistribution of Recovery Act grants to communities around the nation.” 

Daviscontinued, “Federal grant-making agencies have worked together sincethe passage of the Federal Financial Assistance Management ImprovementAct in 1999 to develop common, electronic systems for grantprocedures.  Grants.gov serves as the portal for over 1,000 federalgrant programs offered by 26 federal grant-making entities.  Given thetime-sensitive nature of grant applications and the potential financialconsequences to applicants and communities, it is important that weanticipate any system limitations to ensure a fair applicationsprocess.  The GAO report documents potential limitations in theGrants.gov application system related to the complexity of theregistration process, the technological capacity of the Grants.govsystem, and consistency among agencies in dealing with anytechnological problems that arise.  Each of these problems can affectthe ability of applicants to be submitted.  Whether applicants win agrant is not a theoretical issue; receiving a federal grant providesvery tangible assistance to local families and businesses.  It is vitalthat applicants – be they from Chicago, Dallas, or Tulsa – have theassurance that their applications will be processed fairly, whetherthey apply to the Department of Education, the Department of Labor, orthe National Institutes of Health.”


Davis elaborated,“The GAO recommendations provide suggestions to the Administration onways to strengthen the grant application system, especially in the nextfew months during the peak application filing period for Recovery Actgrants.  The recommendations center on communicating the applicationrequirements clearly and establishing consistent guidelines forsubmission across agencies.  The Administration has already takenmultiple steps to ensure that the Recovery grants are processedsmoothly.  I have complete confidence that the Administration will drawon the expertise of the GAO to make the system even better.”