Frequently Asked Questions

The Quality Service Management Office is a government-wide change management initiative to standardize services commonly used across federal agencies for grants management, cybersecurity, financial management and human resources. HHS is designated as the home agency for the Grants QSMO.

In support of the President's Management Agenda (PMA) Cross-Agency Priority Goal 5, Sharing Quality Services, QSMOs are designed to:

  • Enhance customer satisfaction in their given functional area
  • Modernize and automate processes and supporting technology
  • Standardize processes and data
  • Achieve efficiencies in operations and maintenance

The efforts undertaken by QSMOs seek to empower agencies to deliver value to the American people and deliver on their agency's mission.

The PMA creates a long-term vision for modernizing the Federal Government in key areas that will improve the ability of agencies to deliver mission outcomes, provide excellent service, and effectively steward taxpayer dollars on behalf of the American people. To drive these management priorities, the Administration leverages Cross-Agency Priority Goals (CAP) to coordinate and publicly track implementation across Federal agencies.

CAP Goals have been established to further implementation of the PMA and tackle critical government-wide challenges that cut across agencies. The CAP Goals provide the components of the Federal Government Performance Plan required by the GPRA Modernization Act of 2010.

View more information about the President's Management Agenda and CAP goals.

The QSMO initiative is a component of the President's Management Agenda (PMA). In April 2019, the Office of Management and Budget issued Memorandum 19-16: Centralized Mission Support Capabilities for the Federal Government to further support the Cross-Agency Priority Goal 5 which created the QSMOs.

More information about the QSMO initiative and other QSMOs is available at

Historically, each agency has set its own policies and practices which has resulted in a burdensome grants management ecosystem for awarding, managing, and tracking performance that does not effectively support grant making agencies or the applicant and recipient community.

In fiscal year 2020, the federal response to COVID-19 increased government-wide grant funding from $750 billion to over $2 trillion through supplemental funding in addition to other federal financial assistance payments and loans, which involved over 250 grant systems across the government. The proliferation of these systems, which in some cases are duplicative, has resulted in frustration for recipients and dissatisfaction among grant-making agencies.

Despite recent progress within the grants community to adopt shared solutions and standardize business processes and data, there remain significant opportunities to:

  • Improve the user experience for applicants, recipients, and agencies;
  • Streamline and modernize the expansive and aging grant system landscape; and
  • Better leverage the buying power of the government to access high quality shared solutions.

As the home agency for the Grants QSMO, OMB is leveraging HHS expertise as the largest grant-making agency in the federal government. HHS is uniquely positioned to lead this effort in grants management effectiveness and efficiency.

The Grants QSMO is working across all federal awarding agencies to modernize, automate, and standardize grants management processes and systems. The outcome of these efforts is the Grants QSMO 2030 vision to empower agencies to deliver value to the American people and deliver on their agency's mission by maximizing funding for grant awards and the services and programs they support.

To deliver on the long-term vision, the Grants QSMO will play three roles Market Coordinator, Solution Manager, and Community Builder. These roles are supported by a phased roadmap to prioritize activities by focus areas to facilitate sustained impact. The phased roadmap builds on early accomplishments and balances near-term milestones to support momentum and long-term targets to address the end-to-end grants lifecycle.

Through these three key roles the Grants QSMO seeks to:

Market Coordinator Solutions Manager Community Builder
Execute the responsibilities of the QSMO as outlined in OMB memo M-19-16, including establishment of the grants management solutions marketplace. Bring grants systems and services to the marketplace and oversee operations for QSMO-approved solutions Establish and foster a community of practice to encourage sharing of best practices and learning across agencies

Building the Grants QSMO involves input from stakeholders engaged in the grants lifecycle. The Grants QSMO engages federal agency leaders through an Executive Steering Committee and work groups of grants professionals and federal service providers. These stakeholder groups include representation from 17 federal awarding agencies, representing more than 90% of total federal grant dollars and awards. The Steering Committee and work groups provide input on past successes and pain points to achieve the Grants QSMO 2030 Vision to empower and enable applicants, recipients, and federal awarding agencies to efficiently and effectively deliver on mission.

The Grants QSMOs also leverages recent investments in recipient feedback through the HHS ReImagine Grants Management initiative, the annual George Washington University/National Grant Management Association/REI survey, Grants.Gov and other agency interactions with recipients. As the QSMO matures, additional recipient engagement is planned to ensure that systems and solutions are designed to be responsive to the recipient community.

In the first year as a fully designated QSMO, the immediate focus includes near-term priorities to improve agency recipient risk management assessments by implementing the HHS Grant-Recipient Digital Dossier and develop a prototype to improve the grant-recipient user experience through a seamless user interface with government grant systems.  The Grants QSMO has also developed Marketplace 1.0 which provides transparency for federal awarding agencies into existing grants management solutions across the government that in some cases do not meet current grants data standards.

The Grants QSMO seeks to develop and manage a marketplace of solutions.  Services offered through the Grants QSMO Marketplace will continue to be operated by federal agencies or commercial vendors. For example, rather than serve as a system owner and operator, the Grants QSMO will provide value by designating approved services and solutions that meet technology and data standards for grants management from which agencies can choose.

The QSMO initiative builds on lessons learned from past efforts by defining a long-term vision that will deliver better value for American taxpayers. This initiative moves away from the "one size fits all" model and relies on government-wide standards to create long-term options for agencies by allowing awarding agencies to partner with the Grants QSMO to incrementally implement shared services at their agency.  Further, the Grants QSMO uses a highly collaborative approach to working with Stakeholders. The Implementation Plan for the Grants QSMO was shaped with engagement and input from agency executives and grants professionals from across the government.

As outlined in OMB M-19-16, the Grants QSMO applies to all federal agencies planning grant management and related systems technology investments. The Grants QSMO supports agencies as they plan to modernize or replace existing solutions. The first step in consulting with agencies is to determine whether there is a marketplace solution that meets their needs.

Early engagement and collaboration with the Grants QSMO on investment planning is expected by OMB and the memo directs agencies planning investments or who have initiated early stage work to engage with the Grants QSMO. Agencies can contact the Grants QSMO at [email protected].

The Grants QSMO is led by an Executive Director in the Senior Executive Service. The Grants QSMO is further supported by a team of federal staff that manage interaction with awarding agencies, service providers, GSA and OMB. The office is the central point of contact for questions about any aspect of the Grants QSMO initiative, investment review, approved solutions and the Marketplace. Contact the office at [email protected].

Agency and stakeholder engagement is critical to informing the development of solutions that meet agency and stakeholder needs. The most direct way to engage the Grants QSMO is to send an email to [email protected].

Content created by Office of Acquisitions and the Office of Grants
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