CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
S. 303 is being considered under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds vote for passage. The legislation was introduced by Sen. Voinovich (R-OH) on January 22, 2009.
S. 303 would repeal the termination date for the Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act of 1999 (FFAMIA), therefore extending it indefinitely.
The bill requires the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to establish and maintain a public website that serves as a central point of information and access for federal grant applicants, including grant: (1) announcements; (2) statements of eligibility; (3) application requirements; (4) purposes; (5) federal agency providers; and (6) deadlines for applying and awarding. The bill would require that the website allow grant applicants to apply for grants on it.
The bill amends the Act to require that OMB report to Congress on the implementation of FFAMIA; and a strategic plan specifying federal financial assistance programs suitable for common applications and reporting forms or requirements, changes in law (if any) needed to achieve the goals of this Act, and plans, timeliness, and cost estimates for developing an entirely electronic, web-based process for managing federal financial assistance.
The bill requires the head of each federal agency not been exempted from FFAMIA to develop a plan that describes how it will carry out its responsibilities under the strategic plans.
The purpose of FFMIA is to advance federal financial management by ensuring that federal financial management systems provide accurate, reliable, and timely financial management information to the government's managers. The intent and the requirements of this Act go beyond the directives of the CFO Act and the Government Management Reform Act of 1994 (GMRA) to publish audited financial reports.
The federal government currently has an Internet site for federal grants (www.grants.gov) that includes information on more than $500 billion in grants from 1,000 programs administered by 26 agencies. OMB reports that the Web site cost about $12 million to operate in 2008. CBO estimates that continuing this level of effort would cost about $60 million over the 2010-2014 period, assuming the availability of appropriated funds.
S. 303 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act. The bill would benefit state, local, and tribal governments by reducing the costs they incur to apply and report on federal grants.