OMB has compiled the lessons learned through a pilot program conducted under the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act focused on identifying common reporting elements and reducing duplicative or burdensome financial reporting requirements for recipients of federal awards.

In a report to Congress, OMB said the pilot—conducted in partnership with the GSA, the Chief Acquisition Officers Council and others—was divided into three phases: a national dialogue to generate ideas from federal award recipients; development of test models for the ideas attracting the highest interest; and collection of data and information.

“The procurement pilot demonstrates that burden is reduced and efficiencies are achieved when data already provided to the federal government is re-used. The procurement pilot results also demonstrate that reporting can be streamlined when technology standards are open,” it said.

“The grants test pilots demonstrate that the following conditions can reduce recipients’ burden: (1) required reporting data elements are defined in a central open repository, (2) reported data is collected centrally, (3) data can be re-used and auto populated across government, and (4) available resources explain requirements and business processes where needed,” it said.

Recommendations in the report were: pursue further standardization of data elements, conditions and conditions; use IT that can auto-populate reporting fields from existing federal sources; and leverage IT open standards to rapidly develop, test and deploy new tools as needs arise.