Federal Manager's Daily Report

With DATA Act reporting now underway, the bipartisan leaders of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee are pressing OMB and Treasury for responses to concerns raised by GAO and others that call into question the completeness and accuracy of those reports.

The 2014 Digital Accountability and Transparency Act was intended require standardized data reporting for all federal spending in response to long-standing concerns that the data were housed in disconnected and siloed systems using various formats, they wrote, but “there are ongoing implementation challenges that threaten its success.”

For example, GAO has reported “widespread and longstanding financial management issues that present risks to agencies’ abilities to submit quality data as required by the DATA Act,” they wrote, and OMB and Treasury “may be missing an opportunity to identify government-wide systemic issues and good practices from agency inspectors general reviews of DATA Act implementation.”

Their letter asked for information on what the two are doing to address recommendations that they: set clear policies and processes for developing and maintaining data standards consistent with leading practices; accelerate efforts to determine how best to merge DATA Act purposes and requirements to produce a federal program inventory; provide additional guidance to address potential clarity, consistency or quality issues; determine the complete population of agencies required to report spending data; and assess the results of independent audits and reviews of agencies’ compliance.