HHS Conference Affords Glimpse Into ‘Reinvention’ of Federal Grants Management

As federal agencies continue their move towards a more data-centric approach to grants management, areas like grantee risk assessment and performance evaluation are positioned to reap the early benefits of the ongoing data revolution in government.

On June 6, attendees at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Grants Management Conference in Shady Grove, MD were given glimpses of how data can be leveraged to help achieve mission objectives more effectively and efficiently.

Imagine creating efficiencies and reducing administrative burden by 1% annually and utilizing those funds for mission objectives.At HHS, improving efficiency by even a single percentage point can mean billions of dollars saved, said Michael Peckham, who heads up the Reinvent Grants Management initiative at HHS.

In fiscal year 2018, for example, about 67% of all federal grants came from HHS, totaling about $509 billion. Peckham, citing a study by the Federal Demonstration Partnership, said that an estimated 44% of awarded grant funds are spent on grantor and grantee overhead.

“Imagine creating efficiencies and reducing administrative burden by 1% annually” and utilizing those funds for mission objectives, he said.

In fact, a range of data-related reforms are already being rolled out and tested within HHS. These efforts are laying the foundation for the more efficient and effective use of federal grant funds in the coming years.

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