Budget data reported earlier this year by agencies under the DATA Act were “largely consistent with agency records” but only a small percentage were completely consistent, GAO has reported in the first of what will be ongoing reviews of agency compliance with that law.

Some submissions were incomplete or contained inaccuracies, and agencies applied data standards differently, said GAO. It gave as example contracts issued by HHS and Labor to the same company for similar printers, in which the former reported the spending as having occurred in New Jersey and the latter as having occurred in California.

A total of 78 agencies submitted data in the spring in the initial reporting required by the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014, which is designed to increase transparency of the $3.7 trillion in annual federal spending.

GAO said that OMB and Treasury, which set general policy under the law, generally agreed with its recommendations regarding technical assistance and clarifying guidance.