The National Institute of Food and Agriculture Streamlines Grant Oversight and Tracking

 

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture Streamlines Grant Oversight and Tracking
 
Groundbreaking Application Goes Live at NIFA with Barquin International Support
 
WASHINGTON, May 9, 2013 / PRWeb/ - Barquin International announced today its partnership with the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), in the development of the recently-launched Research, Education, and Extension Project Online Reporting Tool (REEport).   This integrated data collection, analysis and reporting application was successfully developed and deployed by NIFA to provide a singular, consistent method to support oversight and tracking of competitive and formula grant projects managed by the agency.
 
With an annual budget of more than $1.3 billion and a mission focused on promoting “exemplary agricultural science,” NIFA sought a practical method to leverage its information stores and grant data to ensure timely and accurate reporting on the status of essential primary science research it supports.  As its core mission, the agency seeks to stimulate study on food security and hunger, climate change, sustainable energy, childhood obesity, and food safety.
 
To enable optimal and intuitive oversight of this critically-important research, NIFA, in partnership with Barquin International, designed REEport to integrate with the single sign-on central authentication capability of the NIFA Reporting Portal.   REEport implements the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) mandates, a required, standard format used for all Federal research grant reporting.
 
The initial implementation of REEport will give access to more than 17,000 users nationwide and will allow grant recipient institutions and NIFA officials to share and evaluate program information based on REEport functionality previously not available.  The new application includes robust online grant project management tools, automated workflow, email notification,  and a capability for uploading documents—designed to comply with Federal Government Managing Government Records Directive [http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/memoranda/2012/m-12-18.pdf] issued in August 2012 that requires agencies manage all permanent records in an electronic format by 2019.
 
“REEport provides truly groundbreaking capabilities for NIFA.  It is the first new NIFA application hosted in a virtualized environment at the USDA Enterprise Data Center in Kansas City, Mo.   It also is the first NIFA Web-based system with thousands of Web users and the first data collection initiative that integrates seamlessly with existing applications, inside and outside NIFA, to share and validate data.  This data management and analysis tool is designed to cross application boundaries, connect silos, and reuse data,” stated John Mingee, NIFA REEport Project Director.
 
"We faced a number of technical challenges for this implementation.  One essential step was the migration of all server platforms and storage to a virtualized environment, including single sign-on authentication and seamless integration with several geographically-dispersed legacy systems.  REEport was developed using an agile methodology and on an open-source platform, and a rigorous automated testing approach that resulted in an order of magnitude reduction in the previous manual testing effort.  Using this development strategy has enabled a relatively small development team to provide an excellent value to NIFA. Further, by eliminating several paper-based processes, there should be some significant cost savings for the agency and the research grantees," said Barquin International Chief Technology Officer, Owen Dall.
 
About NIFA
The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is one of four agencies within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that comprise its Research, Education, and Economics (REE) mission area. NIFA is focused on leading food and agricultural sciences to create a better future for the U.S. and the world by supporting research, education, and extension programs in the Land-Grant University System and other partner organizations. For more information on NIFA, visit: http://nifa.usda.gov/ and NIFA Fact Sheet http://www.nifa.usda.gov/newsroom/factsheet.pdf
 
About Barquin International
Barquin International is a full-service information technology consulting firm focused on supporting U.S. Federal Government agencies and their partners. For nearly twenty years, this small business has developed a niche expertise for helping complex organizations leverage their data into enable fact-based, actionable decisions. Today, the firm is recognized for its professional depth in enterprise IT strategies, business intelligence and analytics, data warehousing, knowledge management, and information architecture. Founded by Dr. Ramon C. Barquin, author, lecturer, and information management expert, Barquin International has established a proven track record for results-driven solutions for U.S. Federal civilian, intelligence, and defense organizations.
For more information on Barquin International capabilities, clients, and subject matter expertise, please visit:   www.barquin.com