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CAP Goal IconResults-Oriented Accountability for Grants




Goal Leaders


Douglas Webster,
Chief Financial Officer, Department of Education

Sheila Conley,
Deputy Chief Financial Officer, Department of Health and Human Services

Fred Nutt,
Senior Advisor, Office of Management and Budget


Goal Statement


PMG_red_target_iconThis goal will:   rebalance compliance efforts with a focus on results for the American taxpayer; standardize grant reporting data and improve data collection in ways that will increase efficiency, promote evaluation, reduce reporting burden, and benefit the American taxpayer; measure progress and share lessons learned and best practices to inform future efforts, and support innovation to achieve results.

The Challenge


PMG_red_target_iconApproximately $700 billion is invested annually through more than 1,800 diverse Federal grant programs listed on CFDA.gov.1 These funds support activities that touch every American, such as medical research, education, transportation infrastructure, workforce initiatives, economic development, and services for veterans.

However, grant managers—including those that administer funds from inside the Federal Government and those from external organizations that receive Federal funds—report spending 40% of their time using antiquated processes to monitor compliance instead of data and analytics to monitor results.2 The organizations that receive Federal grant funds—from states, localities, and tribes to schools to non-profits—report that this current management framework is overly burdensome and takes away from the missions they are working to deliver. For instance principal investigators of research grants estimate that they spend, on average, 42% of their time meeting requirements 3 —including those associated with pre-and post-award administration and preparation of proposals and reports—rather than conducting active research.

What Success Looks Like


PMG_red_target_iconAgencies will be able to articulate clearly the goals of grant programs and the results of Federal investments. Recipients and agencies spend less time on administrative compliance and more effort is put into achieving and reporting program results.

1Analytical Perspectives, Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2019, ch. 14. Available at https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BUDGET-2019-PER/pdf/BUDGET-2019-PER.pdf.

2The George Washington University, the National Grants Management Association and REI Systems. 2017 Annual Grants Management Survey. https://www.reisystems.com/rei-in-govexec-how-agencies-can-improve-grant-management/

3GAO report, GAO-16-573, Federal Research Grants, Opportunities Remain for Agencies to Streamline Administrative Requirements: https://www.gao.gov/assets/680/677949.pdf