Monitoring EERE’s financial assistance awards requires Federal Program Managers to make complex technical and financial decisions. They must do so in a way that is both deliberative yet at a pace conducive to the development and commercialization of new technologies. This is particularly challenging for Recovery Act-funded awards with stage gates – key points in a project when reviewers make decisions on whether to continue or to terminate.
The Geothermal Technologies Program (GTP) in the Golden Field Office has found a way to streamline its processes to meet the strict deadlines for their financial assistance recipients. Working with EERE headquarters, GTP Golden has created a new standardized decision process with a structured flowchart and schedule that should enable faster processing.
The new decision process is intended to ensure that a review is conducted and a signature is provided by the Program Manager within three weeks, an impressive reduction from the previous six-week timeframe.
To date this process has been successfully applied to five awards. An EERE Project Officer reports: “This [process] has reduced the amount of reporting revisions and iterations between DOE and the recipients, which saves money for both parties in terms of time and labor required to complete a stage gate decision.”
GTP is communicating with other programs with similar stage gate decision requirements for awards, so that the new decision process can be replicated where possible.