Feds seek input before soliciting Grants.gov integrator

The Health and Human Services Department is seeking industry input as it considers hiring a new systems integrator for the Grants.gov portal, one of the original E-Government programs.

In a recent request for information released through GovWorks Federal Acquisition Center, HHS said that the Grants.gov Web site has significantly grown since its inception in 2003, and a new systems integrator may be needed as the portal's use increases.

"Grants.gov needs high-quality system integration services to implement functional and performance enhancements required to support increased use of the system," the RFI said. "These services encompass development and operation of the Grants.gov servers, development and deployment of electronic application forms, integration with other systems for authentication, and technical support to organizations integrating with Grants.gov."

Grants.gov is the federal government's online portal for finding and submitting applications electronically for federal grant funding. Northrop Grumman Corp. is the site's current systems integrator.

Late last year, Grants.gov folded Fedgrants.gov, which it also managed, into the Grants.gov site. It also fully integrated its search and apply functionalities, giving it a single look and feel for Find and Apply and standardizing terminology between the two functions.

The RFI is part of a market research process the Grants.gov program management office is conducting before it issues a solicitation for a full range of systems engineering and integration services.

Since October 2003, all federal grant-making agencies have posted their discretionary funding on the portal; as of January 2006, nearly 6,000 discretionary grant opportunities have been posted. The site has received about 34,000 electronic applications from users and it sends out more than 1 million e-mail notifications per week, the RFI said.

"The government is seeking creative, cost-effective solutions in its ongoing effort to provide the grant community with a usable and efficient electronic process to find and apply for federal grants without disrupting service to current users," the RFI said.

Responses to the RFI are due Feb. 20 by 11 p.m.

Rob Thormeyer is a staff writer for Washington Technology's sister publication, Government Computer News.

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