Sneak Preview: Address Potential Risks Early To Enhance Grants

August 14, 2013 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

xgran_bookshot(The following was excerpted from an article in the Federal Grants Management Handbook.) All parties involved in a grant project should consider potential risks when developing and managing the grant and should proactively address those risks early in the grant process, Karen Norris, managing editor of grants publications at Thompson Information Services, told attendees at a recent National Grants Management Association training meeting.

“There has to be a conscious intent to assess risk,” Norris said. “You have to think about it, whether you’re a recipient preparing a proposal to be submitted or whether it’s your job to manage the awardee. You have to think about risk.”

Norris continued, “Federal agencies have to evaluate the risk of the prime recipient and prime recipients must evaluate subrecipients. If you can keep risk in the low range, you’re doing a good job.”

There are certain challenges that arise when assessing a grant recipient’s potential risk, Norris said. While some risks can be predicted (e.g., the recipient doesn’t have a travel policy), other risks are not as obvious. The complexities of the award also increase when the grantee makes subawards or has a partnership agreement. In addition, while granting agencies are required to assess risk, there are few guidelines on how to assess risk.


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