GREAT ActThe Grant Reporting Efficiency and Agreements Transparency (GREAT) Act of 2017 (H.R. 4887, S.3484) - Open Data to Modernize Federal Grant Reporting
The GREAT Act (H.R. 4887, S. 3484) will transform federal grant reporting from disconnected documents into open data by directing the executive branch to adopt a standardized data structure for the information grantees must report to agencies. By replacing outdated documents with open data, the GREAT Act will deliver transparency for grantmaking agencies and the public and allow grantees to automate their reporting processes, reducing compliance costs.
At the Data Foundation’s Data Transparency 2017, on September 26th, 2017, Congresswoman Virginia Foxx announced that she will introduce legislation to adopt a government-wide open data structure for all federal grant reporting. Watch her full remarks below.
A year later, on September 24th, 2018, Senators James Lankford (OK-R) and Michael Enzi (WY-R) introduced a similar companion bill in the Senate. Two days later, on September 26th, the Senate Oversight Committee unanimously approved the bill, and the House passed the GREAT Act (see the video here). We currently await final Congressional consideration of this bipartisan legislation.
Within one year: Establish government-wide data standards for information related to federal awards reported by recipients of federal awards.
- Within two years: Issue guidance to grantmaking agencies on how to leverage new technologies and implement the new data standards into existing reporting practices with minimum disruption.
No personally-identifiable or otherwise sensitive information will be published.
- Information not subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (Title 5, Section 552) will not be publicly disclosed.
- The OMB Director to permit exceptions on a case-by-case basis.
Finally, it would require each grantmaking agency to begin collecting grant reports using the new data standards within three years.
- Reduce recipient compliance costs by automating the compilation and submission of reports to federal agencies.
- Creates a single consolidated data set of federal grant receipts information.
- Fosters increased federal oversight and transparency into the distribution of federal funding
- Facilitates the adoption of modern technologies such as blockchain.
The GREAT Act would require the creation of a comprehensive and standardized data structure (“taxonomy”) covering all reported federal grant and assistance data.
- The full bill text – H.R. 4887 and S. 3484.
- One page GREAT Act summary.
- Passes the House on September 26, 2018 (see video recap here).
- Unanimously passes Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on September 26, 2018, as amended and reported to the full Senate.
- Op-Ed in The Hill by House Sponsor Rep. Virginia Foxx: “A $662 billion challenge: Transforming US grant reporting.”
- Introduced in the Senate on September 24, 2018, by Senator James Lankford (OK-R) and Senator Mike Enzi (WY-R).
- September 2018 American Library Association (ALA) letter of support.
- July 2018 U.S. House Oversight Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Affairs hearing featuring testimony from Data Coalition Former Executive Director Hudson Hollister: “Federal Grant Management.”
- Data Coalition summary blog: “House Oversight Subcommittee Embraces Modernizing Grant Management.“
- Data Foundation June 2018 follow-up report: “Transforming Federal Grant Reporting: Current Challenge, Future Vision.“
- Unanimously passes House Oversight and Government Reform Committee February 6, 2018, as amended with an explanatory report (see H. Rept. 115-947).
- February 2018 Grant Professionals Association (GPA) letter of support.
- Introduced in the House on January 29, 2018, by Representatives Virginia Foxx (NC-5-R) and Jimmy Gomez (IL-2-D).
- Data Foundation November 2017 report on grant modernization: “Transforming Federal Grant Reporting: Open the Data, Reduce Compliance Costs, and Deliver Transparency.”
- Federal News Radio September 2017 news report on Rep. Virginia Foxx’s announcement of forthcoming legislation: “Rep. Foxx planning ‘GREAT’ legislation to standardize grant data.”
- Data Coalition August 2017 blog post summarizing the OMB Section 5 pilot report: “White House’s DATA Act report: Standardized Data is Needed to Modernize Federal Grant Reporting – But Not Contract Reporting.“
- Office of Management and Budget August 2017 “Report to Congress: DATA Act Pilot Program.“