Sep 28 2015

USDA Eyes Efficiency Through Automated Grant Management

A streamlined, modernized process will allow the agency to do more.

Seeking a more productive process for its grants, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has switched to an automated system. Aside from ensuring that grants meet regulatory standards, the switch to an updated model will expedite the agency’s grant process from start to finish.

Accenture Federal Services developed the Grantor Management System under the USDA’s Financial Management Modernization Initiative (FMMI), which extends online transaction capability to more than 6,000 users across the agency. The system already works with the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS). In a press release, Accenture explained how the system would make the FMMI more versatile:

The Grantor Management program builds on this successful framework, fully supporting the end-to-end grants life cycle from application through award, monitoring and closeout. The program reduces manual data entry, automates the review and approval processes, and helps confirm that all grants and financial documents meet regulatory and compliance requirements.

GCN reports that once the National Resources Conservation Service and Agricultural Marketing Services join the FNS and FAS online this fall, the Grantor Management System will be tracking upward of $80 billion in grants, via a private cloud. According to Accenture’s Elaine Beeman, the switch is about more than monitoring grant money.

“It is part of the department’s ongoing commitment to its clients and stakeholders to truly modernize and better support its mission in rural and urban communities across the country,” Beeman said.

USDA CFO Jon Holladay observed that the automation process vastly improves the agency: “Now we have better data to improve decisions, reduce costs and evaluate performance within the department.”


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