GAO has found a mixed bag of compliance by federal agencies with the 2014 Digital Accountability and Transparency Act—the DATA Act—based on agency IG reviews of the quality of the spending data that agencies release and compliance with data standards set by OMB and Treasury.
That law requires fuller disclosure of federal agency expenditures, linking agency spending information to federal program activities and improving the quality of data submitted to USAspending.gov. It provides for reviews by agency IGs of compliance and, in turn, review by GAO of those reports.
In reviewing assessments by the IGs of 51 agencies, GAO said that 37 reported that agencies properly implemented and used the data standards. Standards for completeness were met by 44, for timeliness by 38 and for accuracy by 42.
However, 47 reported control deficiencies related to system limitations, quality control procedures, data from external systems, and other issues. “Further, 44 OIGs made recommendations for agencies to help improve data quality” in areas including corrective actions, resolving issues during the reporting process, and the review and collection of data.