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GO-TIME: DEP Grant Modernization Is Increasing Efficiency, Improving Review Timelines

October 25, 2017

Harrisburg, PA – The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced today that the use of a centralized electronic system for grants is reducing costs, increasing efficiency and significantly shortening the application review time while maintaining a thorough evaluation process.

When fully implemented, e-grants will be available for 30 grants administered by DEP, saving $200,000 annually.

“Modernizing this grant application system is improving customer service for many citizens, nonprofit organizations, local governments, and businesses,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “With this advancement, we are making the process more efficient as we keep our comprehensive reviews in place and ultimately speed up the support for these important environmental programs in communities across the commonwealth.”

DEP was the first agency to begin using the Department of Community and Economic Development’s (DCED) electronic grants system for one of its programs. This has allowed DEP to modernize its application and review processes without having to build or buy its own system.

The Environmental Education grant program was the first to accept electronic applications, starting last fall. The Alternative Fuel Vehicle, Small Business Advantage, and Coastal Zone Resource Management grant programs have begun accepting electronic applications in the past six months.

The e-grant system reduces applicant errors and allows for electronic approval, which reduces processing time and speeds review. DCED provides online application customer support. DEP staff score applications online and no longer perform manual data entry

As a result of these and other efficiencies, the grant review process that formerly required about two weeks has been reduced to an average of two days.

The new grant system complements ongoing work to shift agency-wide permitting from paper to online applications, part of a major effort to modernize technology at DEP that launched in January 2016. In March of this year, DEP announced an electronic mining permit application for surface coal mines that will make the permit review process faster for DEP and operators and provide more transparency to the public.

The new process is a DEP initiative developed through the Governor’s Office of Transformation, Innovation, Management, and Efficiency (GO-TIME).

GO-TIME is working to modernize government operations to reduce costs and improve services. GO-TIME works with agencies to identify opportunities to share resources, collaborate and engage employees in transformation.

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