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Grants Management Dashboard

Enhancing oversight and insights with on-demand grants data and information


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Increased grant caseloads, both in number and funding amounts, coupled with an increased emphasis on transparency and accountability create a challenge for the tracking, management and monitoring of grants.  Compounding this difficultly is the fact that much of the information agencies need is housed in disparate systems and files, making it cumbersome to review grant programs at the grant level, not to mention at the grantee or grant program level.

Grant monitoring, a crucial function of a grant making agency, is particularly impacted by these challenges.  Agencies undertake a range of monitoring activity during the open, active phase of the grants lifecycle, ranging from requiring grantees to submit regular progress and financial reports, to performing in-depth, on-site reviews of the grantee, meeting with key participants, reviewing files and assessing project progress.  This in-depth monitoring of grants and grantees is an effective way for the government to track performance, hold grantees accountable, and identify and reduce waste, fraud and abuse.  A detailed monitoring plan allows an agency to forecast how they anticipate using their resources to effectively monitor and review the grants in their portfolio each year.

Agencies face many challenges in developing these monitoring approaches and plans.  Increasingly, agencies are working with limited funds, reduced ability to travel and a scarcity of staffing resources – it may not be possible to perform extensive in-depth monitoring for all of their active grantees.  This forces grant managers to choose which grantees to focus their time and attention on.  The question then becomes, how does one decide which grantees should be monitored, and, what is an efficient and effective way to conduct this monitoring?  There are many different methods of developing monitoring plans, ranging from a simple rotation through grantees, to intricate methods of assessing risk and grantee need.  In addition, agencies are devising approaches for remote monitoring, including teleconferences with grantees, detailed reviews of grantee files and increased communication with grantees.

Grants management dashboard

Deloitte’s Grants Management Dashboard solution aids Federal and State agencies in managing, tracking and monitoring their grantees, by providing actionable information on demand.  This interactive, real-time dashboard shows financial, operational, and socio-economic impact of a grant. The dashboard allows program managers to easily view grant and grantee information; compare grants by factors including compliance, award amount and program type; and visualize the grantees’ locations on a map.  This allows agencies to better understand their portfolios and identify areas which require increased attention.  The dashboard can be customized to accommodate an agency’s specific datasets and areas of focus.  For example, the dashboard allows program managers to filter to Recovery Act grants, or to focus on grants designated as ‘at risk’ based on provided data.  In addition, the dashboard provides a view by grantee – allowing a program manager to see all of the active grants held by a specific grantee across programs.  This may help identify systemic issues with the grantee that are not apparent when looking at individual grants.

The dashboard also allows agencies to add additional information to their grants data, including census data and other demographic data which can provide further context and background on grantees.

Benefits

  • Actionable Information on Demand
  • Improving Monitoring Resources
  • Improved Reporting Time
  • Oversight Responsiveness
  • Ability to Merge Grant and Community Information

Implementation Challenges

Multiple Systems of Record
One challenge in developing the Grants Dashboard is identifying and consolidating data and information from the multitude of disparate systems that many agencies have employed.  Deloitte’s professionals are adept at compiling data to provide the most complete picture possible.  The Dashboard has the ability to interface with and pull data from multiple systems, providing a complete picture of agency’s grants and grantees.

Paradigm Shift
The implementation of the Grants Dashboard is a tool that supplements the long-standing approach to grants management and monitoring; however there may be some resistance across agencies to use the tool.  For an effective implementation and  use of the Dashboard, agency leadership should provide a vision for how the tool can enhance current management and monitoring processes.  The tool is not meant to replace program and grant managers; rather, its purpose is to provide them with the tools to assess the health of their grants and grantees allowing them to focus their time on those that require their assistance the most.

As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte Consulting LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries.

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