It took federal agencies’ four years to go from introduction to implementation of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, so what will it take to get 2,300 grant-making programs and 3,200 procurement offices to do the same?
The Office of Management and Budget recommends three steps to help expedite the process: continue to standardize data, use auto-populating technology, and use IT open standards for developing any new tools needed along the way.
The recommendations are part of OMB’s recent report on the DATA Act’s two-part Section 5 pilot, which covers federal grants and federal contracts. The grants pilot ended, but the procurement side will continue through February.
“The procurement pilot demonstrates that burden is reduced and efficiencies are achieved when data already provided to the federal government is re-used,” OMB said. “The procurement pilot results also demonstrate that reporting can be streamlined when technology standards are open. The grants test pilots demonstrate that the following conditions can reduce recipients’ burden: (I) required reporting data elements are defined in a central open repository, (2) reported data is collected centrally, (3) data can be re-used and auto populated across government, and (4) available resources explain requirements and business processes where needed.”