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White House’s DATA Act report: Standardized Data is Needed to Modernize Federal Grant Reporting – But Not Contract Reporting
Last Thursday, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued its long-awaited report on reducing compliance burdens for recipients of federal grants and contracts. Its main recommendation is simple yet powerful: the federal government needs to adopt a standardized data structure for all the information that grantees must submit.
What a year it’s been so far! The Data Coalition is leading the push for the policy changes that are needed to transform government information into open data. The first half of 2017 has been jam-packed with policy and event milestones. And we’re continuing to grow our community.
Senior federal leaders are currently responding to a rare policy opportunity to address persistent structural management challenges in federal agencies. A new report published this week explores these policy opportunity.
At the Data Coalition’s fourth annual DATA Act Summit, we no longer had to point to the future and predict the ways open spending data would benefit government and society. The future had come and the benefits were all around us – a world of new ways to visualize, analyze, and automate information about how taxpayers’ money is used. But we are never going to do this again. Here is why.
Our DATA Act Summit happened on Thursday, June 29th. This event may be our fourth annual, but it will be different. For the first time in history, the U.S. government has published a single open data set covering all its spending. This data set is changing the way the federal government manages itself. It will be the centerpiece of our event.
On Tuesday, June 13th, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin testified before the House Appropriations Committee in defense of the Treasury Department’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Budget request (see the request here). Mnuchin’s testimony showed an opening to standardize data fields and formats across the nation’s overlapping financial regulatory regimes – just as the Data Coalition has already been recommending to Congress.
Last week the White House released President Trump’s first proposed budget. We read it, and we figured out what it means for federal technology and the implementation of the DATA Act, so you don’t have to.
The Data Coalition hosted its first-ever Texas Data Demo Day, sponsored by Grant Thornton and in partnership with Open Austin, on Wednesday, May 10th, in downtown Austin. The event highlighted the ongoing work of state and municipal leaders as they maximize transparency outside government and improve efficiency inside, by standardizing and publishing their data.
Today, for the first time in history, the U.S. federal government’s spending information is one single, unified data set. Under a deadline set by the DATA Act of 2014, today every federal agency must begin reporting spending to the Treasury Department using a common data format. And Treasury has published it all online, in one piece, offering a single electronic view of the world’s largest organization. Today, we celebrate Darrell Issa, Mark Warner, Christina Ho, Tim Gribben, and all the other leaders who caught Jefferson’s dream of a single, unified federal spending data set, and didn’t let go.
Watch Rep. Jim Jordan (OH-4) and Matt Lira, Special Assistant to the President for Innovation Policy and Initiatives discuss the DATA Act. The keynote addresses will be followed by a panel discussion.
Alex Pollock – former president and CEO of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago – told the 2017 Financial Data Summit that “the time has really come” to standardize financial regulatory data.
Reps. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), and Randy Hultgren (R-IL) headlined our third annual Financial Data Summit last week – and their new proposal in Congress is going to transform financial regulatory reporting.
Last Friday, the General Services Administration, which manages the government-wide database of grantees and contractors and which administers the government-wide contract with D&B, released a Request for Information on alternatives to the DUNS Number.
Last week, on Feb. 2, leaders from 22 tech companies fanned out across Capitol Hill. We crossed from Senate office buildings to House, and back again. We sat down with eight members of Congress and nine groups of staffers. We walked nearly ten miles. We ended our fourteen-hour day with a well-deserved beer. To enact our wonky agenda and realize our ambitious vision, we may have to invest many more Groundhog Days. But that’s okay. With each year of the same Capitol Hill treks and similar policy chats, real change is happening.
The DATA Act is the first modern attempt to bring together three broad categories of federal spending reporting requirements: cash-based agency budgets, accrual-based accounting data, and award data. The open data law requires the federal government to define and apply standard data elements and a government-wide data format to all federal spending.
The DATA Act is arriving in the nick of time. The years ahead are unlikely to be a period of budgetary growth. The government pretty much has the resources they are going to have. The threats facing the U.S., however, are growing and coming at us at the speed of blur in an unforgiving environment.
FROM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR HUDSON HOLLISTER: “We call on the new Trump Administration and the 115th Congress to enforce (and expand) the DATA Act, embrace a government-wide transformation of all information resources through the OPEN Government Data Act, and initiate regulatory reforms that use open data to reduce burdens, governed by the Financial Transparency Act and other reforms. I am optimistic that we will realize all three goals.”
It’s been a busy year for the world’s only open data trade association! We started a new sister organization, welcomed nearly two thousand people to our events, testified before Congress, and celebrated the Senate’s passage of landmark legislation. Our members made all this possible.