Government relief efforts to address the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic have generated a major demand for technology solutions that enable the fast and efficient management and distribution of relief funds. In the U.S., for example, the federal government enacted the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to provide relief for individuals, businesses and industries. In turn, state and local governments have faced the challenge of quickly setting up and launching processes and platforms for disbursing CARES funds to their constituents.
The state of West Virginia is working with CGI to implement their grants solution. The state needed to expedite CARES relief for its 300+ local governments through a grant application portal. While niche solutions on the market could meet the state’s need to “stand up” a portal quickly, they lacked the grantor and grantee management functionality required for COVID-19 and beyond. The state turned to CGI for help in launching an end-to-end solution.
Delivering complete grant life cycle management capabilities
The state already was a CGI client, having implemented the CGI Advantage® ERP system. However, it had yet to take advantage of the system’s complete grant lifecycle management capabilities. Not only did the state need these capabilities, it needed them right away. To meet the state’s aggressive timeframe, CGI committed to setting up a grant application portal within 10 days and proposed agile waves for rolling out remaining grant life cycle management functionality throughout the summer.
In just over a week, the state, working with CGI, launched its CARES Act grant application portal and immediately began receiving and reviewing relief fund applications from local governments for eligible COVID-19 expenses. The solution is completely configurable to meet not only today’s federally mandated eligibility and reporting requirements but also new requirements that emerge in the future. In addition, the CGI team also continues to add new functionality on a rolling basis.
Meeting citizen expectations for rapid government mobilization
Since the grants application portal went live, counties, cities and towns across the state have begun the process of applying for expedited CARES funds, thanks to the state’s rapid and effective government mobilization. Going forward, the state plans to digitize grants management to the enable the following:
- Automated review and approval management for incoming and sub-awarded grant applications
- Self-service for grant sub-recipients to complete reimbursement requests, perform financial inquiries and submit progress reporting
- Onboarding of additional state agencies onto the CGI Advantage grantor and grantee management solution
As the state’s technology partner, CGI worked to ensure strong cross-agency and stakeholder collaboration, working side-by-side with state employees throughout the project. Overall, the project is an example of CGI’s commitment to helping governments rebound and reinvent in the midst of the pandemic for the benefit of affected communities and citizens.