The Grants Quality Service Management Office (Grants QSMO) today formally launched its public-facing Grants QSMO Marketplace of validated Federal shared solutions/services for use by all Federal agencies that award grants and/or cooperative agreements. The launch of this public-facing Grants QSMO Marketplace accomplishes one of the major designation criteria set forth in OMB Memorandum M-19-16, to establish and govern the sustainability of a marketplace of quality shared solutions/services. The Grants QSMO seeks to transform grants management by empowering and enabling Federal awarding agencies, applicants, and recipients with modern tools to efficiently and effectively deliver on the Federal grants mission and this is one of the first steps towards achieving this mission. OMB Acting Controller Deidre Harrison stated “Today’s launch of the Grants QSMO Marketplace of validated shared solutions and services is an important milestone for Federal grants management, shared services, and this Administration. The Grants QSMO Marketplace will, by design, improve mission delivery for federal grants by offering modern shared solutions and services across the grants management lifecycle based on government-wide standards. OMB celebrates this accomplishment and looks forward to the continued partnership with the Grants QSMO and the future expansion of its Marketplace to help meet the grants IT needs of all Federal awarding agencies”
The Grants QSMO team has worked closely with our Federal shared service providers to complete an in-depth Marketplace Validation Process (MVP) of five existing Federal shared solutions/services which are now Grants QSMO-validated and offered on this Marketplace: eRA, GrantSolutions, Payment Management System, Automated Standard Application for Payments (ASAP), and Program Support Center’s Indirect Cost Rate Negotiation Service. As part of this process, each Federal shared service provider responded to a standardized Federal Provider Questionnaire which provided a more transparent understanding of each offering by addressing key areas including: alignment to a standardized organizational framework through the Federal Integrated Business Framework (FIBF) for Grants Management, customer focus, agile development, underlying infrastructure, adoption of data standards, and alignment to the Grants QSMO’s Seven Guiding Principles for Grants Technology Modernization:
- Central focus on customer experience and improved mission delivery;
- Adoption of business and data standards;
- Adherence to security & technology standards;
- Making purposeful and strategic investments;
- Commitment to balancing innovation with stability of operations;
- Employment of agile development of interchangeable, interoperable solutions; and
- Use of data as a strategic asset.
This resulting Grants QSMO Marketplace of validated solutions/services provides Federal awarding agency customers with information to support and inform decisions regarding adoption of shared solutions/services across the entire grants lifecycle. HHS Deputy Secretary Andrea Palm said “The Grants QSMO Marketplace is an important milestone in achieving a long-term, government-wide vision for Federal grants management. The work of the Grants QSMO enables Federal awarding agencies to find and adopt tools to improve delivery of the Federal grants mission. Given that four of the five validated solutions/services reside within HHS, this Marketplace announcement highlights HHS’s continued leadership role in grants management shared services.”
Federal agencies that have identified a requirement for grants IT for any part of the grants lifecycle should consult this Marketplace, the Grants QSMO team, and the respective shared service providers to determine if Marketplace offerings can meet their grants IT requirements. In the event an agency cannot meet its grants IT requirements with a Marketplace offering, the agency should coordinate with the Grants QSMO which will support and advise the agency on potential investments to develop, modernize, enhance, or procure a solution/service. This accompanying investment review process ensures that an agency investing in grants IT aligns the project to the Grants QSMO’s Seven Guiding Principles for Grants Technology Modernization, leverages the Grants QSMO’s existing market research, shared resources, and best practices (e.g., GSA’s M3 Playbook), and avoids duplicative investments across the government.
Grants QSMO has worked with the General Service Administration’s Office of Shared Solutions and Performance Improvement (GSA/OSSPI) to develop the public-facing website to host our Grants QSMO Marketplace of validated solutions/services: https://ussm.gsa.gov/marketplace/grm/. “We are thrilled to partner with the Grants QSMO to host their Grants QSMO Marketplace and help simplify the user experience for federal awarding agencies,” said GSA Deputy Administrator Katy Kale. “Launching this Marketplace is a step forward in the GSA effort to help agencies work together as one federal enterprise and deliver better services for the American people.”
The Grants QSMO greatly appreciates the collaboration with each of these stakeholders in addition to OMB and the other QSMOs as it reaches this milestone and looks forward to these continued partnerships as it continues to mature the Marketplace, incorporate user feedback, and offer additional shared solutions and services that will meet the IT solution/service needs, goals, and objectives of the Federal grants community.