How the Government Prepares Grant Application Forms – Part 1

In recent years, a lot has changed about the federal grant application process. The arrival of Workspace in 2015 gave applicants the ability to reuse forms and collaborate more easily.’s latest release, meanwhile, gave applicants the ability to forego the PDF and complete forms within a web browser.

The data requested on the forms also continues to evolve. The process for updating and creating new grant application forms is a complex one involving a range of government entities, including the grant-making agency, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), as well as the Federal Register and, among others.

Federal grant forms development can be broken into two phases: content development (that’s the actual curation of required data fields) and technical development (that’s the coding of PDF and HTML forms).

In today’s post, we look at the content development of forms. The graphic below illustrates, at a high level, the process of readying content for a new or updated form to be deployed on

Refer to the numbered bullets below the graphic for details about each step in the process.

OMB Forms Approval Cycle

  1. Publish Form to Federal Register: Federal agency requests for new, renewal, or changes to form published to Federal Register for 60-day comment period. Actors: Federal Agency; Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) Office; Government Printing Office (GPO)
  2. Republish Form to Federal Register: Federal agency amends form to address comments within 1 month and republishes for 30-day comment period. Actors: Federal Agency; PRA Office; GPO
  3. Submit Form to Regulatory Information Service Center and Consolidated Information System (ROCIS): Federal agency submits all information, instructions, burden hours, supporting statements, and form to ROCIS. Actors: Federal Agency; PRA Office
  4. Review Form: OMB/OIRA reviews form and ICR for approval or requests for more information. Actors: OMB/OIRA
  5. Approve Form and Expiration Date: OMB/OIRA approves form and issues new expiration date. Actors: OMB/OIRA


ContactQuestions or comments? Please share them below. Part 2 of this series will look at the technical development process of forms. Comment Policy and Privacy Notice.

2 thoughts on “How the Government Prepares Grant Application Forms – Part 1

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