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Building a Common Approach to Grants Management

January 4, 2011 Leave a comment

Summary of what I’ve been working on for the last year.

Project Overview

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this project was to create a common grants management system for the North Carolina Department of Crime Control & Public Safety (CCPS) to maximize the use of federal grant funds to projects related to law enforcement, victim of crime services, emergency response and Homeland Security efforts. Initiation focus was given to the Governor’s Crime Commission Division (GCC) to administer all phases of their federal block grant programs that bring approximately $50,000,000.00 into the state’s criminal justice and juvenile justice system. The previous grant system was inefficient and labor intensive. Fiscal data preparations were performed in local access database files, excel spreadsheets, hand written notes and emails and then eventually manually entered into the central accounting mainframe. This labor intensive process creates multiple copies of the same data leading to duplication of work throughout the process. This also resulted in limited perspectives of grant information causing errors in grant awards: potential over-allocation of grant funds; larger than authorized check amounts written to subgrantees; under-utilized grant funding forcing money to be returned to the Federal Government along with under-utilized interest baring accounts limiting opportunities to extend grant funding to North Carolina criminal justice and juvenile justice systems.

CHALLENGE:

Provide a single entry point and approach for all organizations requesting grant funding from all CCPS grant programs that have different grant application processes while ensuring fiscal management of funds are fully utilized and completely compliant with all federal auditing regulations.

SOLUTION:

The project provided a Microsoft SharePoint 2010 website for organizations requesting grant funding. This data is fed into a Microsoft CRM 4.0 solution that is tailored for each grant program. Once a grant project is awarded from any of the grant programs, the fiscal data is sent to a common Microsoft GP 10.0 solution. The fiscal solution provides accounts payable activities to be performed using a common fiscal focused software solution – minimizing training and maximizing common use of the tool. The system then automatically sends approved budget and check writing request information to the State’s Accounting Mainframe system eliminating the need for manually data entry. All interfaces between these system are managed by SCRIBE Insight software.

The implementation of a common fiscal grant management system will ensure all fiscal roles will be able to utilize information without the need to duplicate data entry or drive fiscal grant management workflow based on personnel rather than fiscal process.

Social Benefit

It provides management the ability to ensure maximum utilization of grant funds. The more programs that can be simultaneously supported throughout the state will help reduce crime, improve crime victim services, allow for better response to an emergency and solidify our state homeland security strategy.

Images

GEMS_HOME

GEMS SharePoint Home Page

GEMS_CRM

GEMS CRM 4.0 Solution

GEMS_SCRIBE

GEMS SCRIBE Insight

GEMS_GP

GEMS Microsoft GP

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