The office in charge of building a government-wide shared services ecosystem for grants management plans to launch a website for grants management shared services marketplace by the end of the year and have all Federal service providers onboarded by mid-year 2022.

In April of 2019, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) launched the idea of specific agencies standing up Quality Service Management Offices (QSMO) to create four shared services centers around key needs for all Federal agencies – grants management, cybersecurity, human resources, and financial accounting.

QSMO efforts require the four lead offices to establish a single location from which agencies can purchase shared services provided by other Federal agencies or the private sector. QSMO offerings are based on the initiative’s long-term designation criteria and the shared services strategy established in OMB Memorandum 19-16 (M 19-16). M 19-16 directs legacy designated providers to propose a joint business case with the QSMO to accept new customers, expand services to existing customers, or make investments in technology or services for these functions.

Once elected, respective lead agencies started developing long-term plans to build out marketplaces for shared services, contract vehicles for others to purchase from, and government-wide standards for everyone to follow. Future QSMO designations will continue to be issued by OMB in consultation with the Shared Services Governance Board; official title remains contingent upon the development and approval of a 5-Year Plan and its alignment with QSMO long-term designation criteria.

According to Chad Clifford, executive director for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Grants Management QSMO, the grants management marketplace is set to go live in early fiscal 2022, with the first service providers onboarded before the end of this calendar year.

“We’re trying to drive shared services through a Federal government marketplace that agencies can utilize where they will get guarantees about the level of quality and modernization of functionality,” said Clifford during Nextgov’s Roadmap to Modernization virtual summit. “We’re going to have a Federal marketplace that we house and operate. We should have all of our providers on by midway through that year.”

One of the Federal services looking to make an early entrance to the marketplace is, an existing grants management shared services provider that serves HHS and other Federal grantors. Clifford and his team plan to treat providers like as their primary customers.

“We’re a marketplace that we want them to be a part of, so what value are we giving back to them,” he said.

The Grants QSMO aims to have all Federal grants management service providers on the marketplace by mid-fiscal 2022.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.