January 11, 2021
HHS to Lead Federal Grants Management Innovations and Efficiencies
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) today formally designated the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as a Quality Service Management Office (QSMO) for grants to lead efforts to transform the Federal grants management process end-to-end. With this designation, the Grants QSMO will drive standardization and modernization of systems to increase efficiency and reduce burden for grant applicants and recipients and for the federal workforce government-wide.
“The designation of HHS as the Grants QSMO affirms the long-standing role of HHS as the largest grant-making agency and leader in improving grants management. We look forward to working across the stakeholder community of awarding agencies, service providers, applicants and recipients to deliver on a vision for the grants community that empowers them to efficiently and effectively deliver on their mission,” said HHS Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan. “The Grants QSMO builds on the HHS ReInvent Grants Management Initiative envisioned in 2017 as part of ReImagine HHS and our work to support the President’s Management Agenda and the Administration’s vision for modernizing the Federal government.”
Grants management centers on a government-to-citizen interaction that is core to the delivery of an agency’s mission. In fiscal year 2020, the federal response to COVID-19 increased government-wide grant funding from $750 billion to over $2 trillion through supplemental funding, in addition to other federal financial assistance payments and loans. This increase highlights the need government-wide for improvements in the federal grants process.
Despite recent progress within the grants community to standardize business processes and data and adoption of shared solutions, there remains significant opportunities to improve the government-wide grants ecosystem. The Grants QSMO is intended to improve the user experience and service quality for applicants, recipients, and agencies; modernize and streamline the expansive and aging grants system landscape and create efficiencies; and better leverage the buying power of the government to access high-quality shared solutions and reduce costs. The Grants QSMO will achieve these goals through three key roles as Marketplace Coordinator, Solutions Manager, and Community Builder.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Memorandum M-19-16, Centralized Mission Support Capabilities for the Federal Government, created the Quality Service Management Offices (QSMOs) for select mission-support functions. OMB has also designated QSMOs in the General Services Administration, the Department of Treasury and the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to drive efficiencies in human resources, financial services and for cybersecurity. QSMOs are tasked with offering and managing a marketplace of solutions (i.e., technology systems and non-technology services) that, over time, will improve customer satisfaction, automate processes, modernize technology, standardize data and related processes, and achieve efficiencies in time and money across the Federal government. The QSMO initiative is a tremendous opportunity, and HHS is proud to participate in it, and lead the federal government to better grants management.
For more information about the Grants QSMO, visit: www.hhs.gov/about/agencies/asfr/grants-management-quality-services-management-office/index.html.