As the pandemic fades in our rearview mirror and we enter what could be a period of austerity, regulators will push agencies even harder on the need for grants management transparency and fiscal stewardship. In this edition of our GHFuture2030 series, we discuss how forward-looking agencies are addressing the many new regulatory updates, laws, sustainability headwinds, and focused management modernization efforts. With limited resources and a nascent grants competency model, reducing the administrative burden while driving efficiency will prove challenging. As US government grant obligations reached an astounding $2 trillion-plus as of June 20221 (up from $764 billion in FY 2019) since the start of COVID, agencies must begin to re-think their grants management processes.
While the government continues to make overtures to reduce the administrative burden of grants management, agencies continue to feel the pain. The 2021 Annual Grants Survey conducted by the National Grants Management Association found that administrative spending has grown from 10% to 17% of grants disbursed by federal agency respondents.
Here we discuss how an agency can shift the paradigm of grants management from monitoring to driving impact through additional oversight.
Changes of the significance can be overwhelming to implement. A key is to start with quick wins and achievable tasks, such as:
3 GAO@100, “GAO-20-580: Agencies Provided Many Types Assistance and Applied Recipients’ Feedback,” August 11, 2020.
4 CFO.gov, “Managing for Results: The Performance Management Playbook for Federal Awarding Agencies,” April 2020.
“It is time for grant making agencies to minimize administrative burden and move to higher value work to focus on the impact they can make through their grant programs.”
Crystal Wolf, CGMS
Partner, Financial Services