The Grant Reporting Efficiency and Agreements Transparency (GREAT) Act of 2019 (H.R. 150, S.1829) - Open Data to Modernize Federal Grant Reporting


The GREAT Act (H.R. 150, S. 1829) 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 By replacing outdated documents with open data, the GREAT Act will deliver transparency for grantmaking agencies and the public and allow grantees to automate their reporting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.


  1. Reduce recipient compliance costs by automating the compilation and submission of reports to federal agencies.
  2. Creates a single consolidated data set of federal grant receipts information.
  3. Fosters increased federal oversight and transparency into the distribution of federal funding
  4. Facilitates the adoption of modern technologies.


Policy Agenda

The GREAT Act would require the creation of a comprehensive and standardized data structure (“taxonomy”) covering all reported federal grant and assistance data.


At the Data Foundation’s Data Transparency 2017, on September 26th, 2017, Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (WV-05-R) announced that she will introduce legislation to adopt a government-wide open data structure for all federal grant reporting. Watch her full remarks below.


The GREAT Act (H.R. 150, S. 1829) requires the creation of a comprehensive and standardized data structure, or “taxonomy”, covering all data elements reported by recipients of federal awards, including both grant and cooperative agreements. The proposed legislation tasks the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and a leading grant agency with implementation.
  • 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.
The bill directs OMB and a leading grant agency to publish grant reporting information, once transformed into open data, on a government-wide website, such as the existing portal. It provides exceptions and restrictions, including:
  • 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.


116th Congress

  • Data Coalition’s June 2019 joint support letter to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs in favor of the GREAT Act. 
  • Reintroduced in the Senate on June 13, 2019, by Senators James Lankford (OK-R), Mike Enzi, (WY-R), Gary Peters (MI-D), and Maggie Hassan (NH-D). 
  • On January 17, 2019, the GREAT Act (H.R. 150) unanimously passed the House of Representatives (see video recap here).
  • Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) Action endorses H.R. 150.
  • Reintroduced in the House of Representatives on January 3, 2019 by Representative Virginia Foxx (H.R. 150).
  • One page GREAT Act summary.
  • Data Coalition’s January 2019 joint support letter to the House in favor of the GREAT Act.

115th Congress

  • The full bill text – H.R. 4887 and S. 3484.
  • 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 Representative 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 (CA-34-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.