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NIH GUIDE, Volume 23, Number 38, October 28, 1994

P.T. 16


  Information Science/Systems 

Department of Health and Human Services


The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has been rapidly

improving its information resources and grant activities to

incorporate total quality management and electronic technologies.  As

part of this process, HHS is piloting an on-line grant information

service that will serve the general public, grantee organizations,

and government grant-making agencies.  This new service, GrantsNet,

is a free public-access computer network for finding and exchanging

information about HHS and other Federal grant programs.  Anyone

having a personal computer with internet capability will be able to

access GrantsNet.  Conceptually, GrantsNet has two components:  (1)

an on-line informational reference service using gopher server

technology; and (2) an interactive mailing list service which groups

subscribers with common interests into computer-managed mailing lists

for sharing of information and dialogue on the given subject.

The mission of GrantsNet is to serve as a vehicle and catalyst for

continuous improvement and innovation in Federal grants management

practices, policies, and information dissemination.  It will provide

a medium for the sharing of ideas, successes, news, lessons learned,

and an archival reference library of grant-related legislation,

regulations, and policies.  GrantsNet will also provide a yellow-page

style directory of granting offices, grants management staff, and

grant program personnel.

The major thrust of GrantsNet is to allow the public to cut through

government red tape -- to find the information they want, when they

want it, and whom to directly contact for additional information.  As

such, it is one of the 11 NETworks created under the auspices of Vice

President Gore's National Performance Review (NPR) whose aims are to

provide government-wide information and resources in an on-line,

easily accessible, and meaningful manner.


HHS has established a gopher and world wide web (WWW) server to

facilitate the GrantsNet mission and vision, assisted by the Parklawn

Computer Center which provides selected communication services.  The

Department is taking a phased approach to the implementation of

GrantsNet.  It is anticipated that GrantsNet will be up and running

by the end of October 1994, with fiscal year 1995 serving as the

pilot-testing period for populating the gopher information service

with grant resource data pertinent to HHS and further developing the

interactive mailing list service.  Once success of the system has

been established and tested, HHS intends to expand the scope of

GrantsNet to governmentwide.

Development and implementation of GrantsNet is carried out by the

GrantsNet Core Team which is managed and directed by the Division of

Grants Policy and Oversight under the Office of the Secretary.

The Chair of the GrantsNet Core Team is Suzanne Neill.  Also, as a

complement to the Core Team, HHS intends to establish an Advisory

Team comprised of individuals from other Federal agencies.  By doing

so, interagency collaboration and insights to shaping the development

of GrantsNet will be gained.


To be placed on a mailing list for receiving news and updates on

GrantsNet, send your name, organization, mailing address, internet

address, and telephone number to:

Suzanne M. Neill

Internet: sneill@os.dhhs.gov


Charles Bish

Internet:  cbish@os.dhhs.gov

Moreover, HHS recognizes that for GrantsNet to become a practical and

user-friendly information service to the Federal grantee community

and to the general public, coordination with interested parties and

feedback from users will be important.  To that end, the GrantsNet

Core Team is interested in any questions or suggestions you may have.

This includes recommendations for improving GrantsNet services, as

well as the identification of additional grants information,

resources, and/or activities that you would like HHS to post.  Please

address your comments to the GrantsNet Core Team Chair.


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