Government grant funding technology writ large has made strides in modernizing to improve how funding is acquired, but there are still some state and local agencies that need to catch up, officials said last week.

David Santiago, who works in Public Sector Strategy for Adobe Document Cloud and is a former Deputy Assistant Administrator for Grants and Policy Integration at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), explained some of the problems that local agencies have had in transitioning to more modern technology.

“More generally, paper and manual-based processes are problematic for government agencies, and I really applaud government agencies that are trying to tackle this head-on by committing to digital transformation,” Santiago said during a May 25 FedInsider virtual event entitled “Leveraging Technology to Streamline Grants Management.”

“Getting that executive commitment to transform your agency is so important,” he said.

While many state and local government agencies across the United States have been having some transitional issues on grant funding portals and technology, California has been at the forefront on this transition.

Shivani Bose-Varela, Program Director for Grants Portal at the California State Library, spoke at the same event about how California’s portal system has been effective during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“During the pandemic, and the first year of the grants portal, we helped over 2,000 grant seekers throughout the state to find the funding they needed in a central location.” Bose-Varela said. “And we continue to thrive with the same momentum to understand their needs, and make it better by working with the state agencies,” she said.

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