GO-TIME: Centralized Grant System to Streamline, Consolidate Application Process

October 03, 2016

Harrisburg, PA – Applicants for the 2017 round of Environmental Education Grants that opened today will be the first to use a centralized eGrants system developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and deployed by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The new process is one of DEP’s initiatives developed through the Governor’s Office of Transformation, Innovation, Management and Efficiency (GO-TIME).

“Centralizing the awarding of grant money and eliminating the outdated paper-driven application process will speed up the awarding of grants and improve service to the public, local governments, universities and the business community who apply for them,” DEP Acting Secretary Patrick McDonnell said. “This is the first of DEP’s grant programs to be rolled out using this electronic centralized system that is expected to reduce costs and speed up the process of reviewing and awarding.”

The new eGrants system will replace the old paper-driven grant application process allowing applications to be submitted and tracked electronically. DEP’s review of applications and attachments, scoring and processing of grant contracts will also be electronic, cutting the amount of time it takes to award and process grants as well the amounts of paper/postage used.

“Governor Wolf continues to stress the importance of inter-agency collaboration in order to provide high-quality service and efficient use of state resources,” DCED Secretary Dennis Davin said. “Grantees should not have to wait for funding due to outdated systems and structures and through the implementation of our electronic system with DEP the entire process will be expedited.”

Work on the consolidation began in August 2015 and is expected to be completed for all DEP grants by June 2018. When finished, DEP will be able to decommission an outdated server that will reduce maintenance costs in addition to savings produced by efficiencies.

“Any time we can standardize a process and make it less time-consuming and onerous is good for the people we serve,” said Sharon Ward, director of the Governor’s Office of Transformation, Innovation, Management and Efficiency (GO-TIME). “In this case, we hope to encourage more applications by making the grants process easier to navigate.”

DEP is increasing the range of environmental education grants available to eligible applicants. The 2017 round will include grants of up to $50,000 to applicants for larger-scale regional or statewide proposals. Traditional mini-grants of up to $3,000 will also be available.

Applicants are encouraged to undertake projects that address DEP’s priority topics of climate change, water education and environmental justice. Applications will be accepted through Dec. 16, 2016.

The Governor’s Office of Transformation, Innovation, Management and Efficiency (GO-TIME) is working to modernize government operations in order to reduce costs and improve services. GO-TIME works with agencies to identify opportunities to share resources, collaborate and engage employees in transformation. These efforts saved more than $156 million in FY 15-16, exceeding the $150 million savings goal he set by the Governor.

To learn more about GO-TIME, visit governor.pa.gov/go-time.

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