Funding News of the Week: GAO and

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A new Government Accountability Office (GAO) audit of the system, which will process a deluge of Recovery Act-related applications - especially from now until August - finds that more consistent policies are needed to ensure that grant-seekers are able to apply.

GAO reported that in the first week of April, the online system run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services processed 11,500 applications, three times the weekly average compared with last year - including a record one-day total of 3,555. GAO recommended that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) set up clear and consistent policies on grant submission deadlines, including time-stamping proposals.

An applicant whose proposal is deemed late should have an opportunity to show that a timely submission was stymied by, GAO recommended, among other policies. OMB largely concurred with GAO and said in the report that it will work for a "path forward."