At the National Grants Management Association’s recent annual conference, DSFederal Project Manager Echo Wang participated in a joint presentation with HRSA Office of Federal Assistance Management (OFAM) staff. Because of her leadership role in the OFAM risk management study, Echo was invited to talk about the project's challenges and successes, key risk findings, recommendations, and considerations.
In 2017, HRSA sought DSFederal’s assistance with an enterprise risk management study of its grants business line. DSFederal conducted a grants risk management study for OFAM, and developed a risk management tool based on an enterprise risk management framework. Generally, a risk management study would apply to an entire agency but DSFederal’s OFAM study applied solely to the grants business line. The study concluded in 2018.
Grant-making agencies face a wide range of risks; and HRSA, which awards more than $9 billion dollars in Federal grants, is one of the federal Government's largest grant-making entities. With its extensive and diverse grants portfolio, OFAM must continuously assess and evaluate its processes to ensure that its risk management approach is capable of identifying, mitigating, and minimizing risk. The HRSA OFAM effort used an innovative approach to create one of the first project management frameworks for grants business in any federal or state or local agency.
Echo writes, “As far as we know, OFAM is one of the few grant-making offices that has done this type of work. Based on DSFederal’s OFAM project methods and results, other grant-making offices might want to refer to this project as a model and best practice.”