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M-04-05, Clarification of Passback Language to Grant-Making Agencies

January 7, 2004



FROM:Linda M. Springer

Karen S. Evans
Administrator, IT and E-Gov

SUBJECT:Clarification of Passback Language to Grant-Making Agencies

The following is a clarification on the E-Gov/ passback language which was sent out on November 20, 2003. Specifically, agencies have requested clarification on what direction to take on current development of grant management systems and the impact on in developing a government-wide solution.

Direction to Agencies

The E-Gov/ passback language directed Federal agencies to:

Use the FIND and APPLY solutions of the E-Gov initiative. Funds are to be designated for migrating grants management systems and/or applications to the common solution developed by under OMB direction. This also includes interfacing back office grants management systems to the government-wide effort. All FY 2004 new planning and development dollars will be redirected to develop an action plan, solution, and architecture for an agency’s grants management system that integrates to the government-wide solution by September 1, 2004.

The above language both re-enforces as the Federal government’s single, online portal for any person, business, or state, local, and tribal government to find and apply for Federal grants and directs agencies to fully meet the following requirements:

  1. Agencies are required to use the FIND application of This was directed in a policy notice ( to the agencies on October 15, 2003. Please note that all Federal agencies are required to post synopses of announcements of all funding opportunities for programs that award discretionary grants and cooperative agreements at the FIND module.
  2. Agencies are directed to use the APPLY function of for grant programs. This requires agencies to designate discretionary grants programs to use the APPLY function. Agencies need to identify the programs that can be placed in for the electronic application process and work with the program office to establish a schedule (no later than March 1, 2004) for participation and ensure all necessary actions are taken to establish the appropriate application packages for those programs on 
  3. Agencies are directed to continue their migration efforts for agency-specific application and utilization of the FIND and APPLY module of, and have a solution available that will allow an agency to accept electronic applications and other products that are developed by Agency systems should not develop anything new to perform FIND and APPLY functions that duplicate what is offering.

    Please note for purposes of funding, planning and development funds shall continue for those efforts designated by the agency: (a) to develop electronic interfaces and solutions to implement elements of the FIND and APPLY module of; and (b) which directly affect agencies electronic interactions with FIND and APPLY of
  4. Agencies are required to make FY 04 payments to In addition, shall begin the analysis of establishing a fee-for-service agreement with agencies to sustain for FY 05 and beyond.

Please contact Elizabeth Phillips (202-395-3053) or Sandra Swab (202-395-5642) at OMB with any questions about these requirements. Agencies should contact Charles Havekost 202-690-8443), program manager, with any questions regarding implementing this guidance.

Redirected Funding for Planning and Developing Agency "Back Office" Grants Management Systems

The agency’s redirected FY 04 new planning and development funds unrelated to FIND and APPLY shall be used by the government to define the framework for grants management back-office systems. The framework definition includes architecture and defining integration with agency management systems, e.g., financial systems, budget systems, property systems and performance management systems. The effort shall constitute an interagency task force that is led by OMB and coordinated with current government-wide initiatives of and P.L. 106-107.