Editor’s Note: The complete report GAO-16-698 is available here. Below is an excerpt.
Managing and overseeing government-wide projects such as DATA Act implementation requires a governance framework that includes structures for both project management and data governance. Agency DATA Act implementation plans are one of the tools that OMB and Treasury use to facilitate implementation of the DATA Act. However, they do not have fully documented processes and controls for reviewing and using agency implementation plans to monitor agencies’ progress against their plans, provide needed guidance or resources, and respond to challenges reported by the agencies. In addition, as of July 2016, OMB had not yet determined the complete population of federal agencies that are required to report spending data under the DATA Act and only requested that CFO Act agencies submit updated implementation plans to OMB. As a result, OMB and Treasury may not be fully informed of government-wide issues or concerns, which may impair their ability to help ensure that all agencies have the full range of resources and guidance needed to fully achieve the purposes and benefits of the DATA Act. In addition, without updated implementation plans from all agencies required to report under the DATA Act that reflect the impacts of new technical requirements and guidance on timelines and milestones, cost estimates, and risks, OMB and Treasury may not have complete information to properly monitor resource needs and progress in implementing new requirements government-wide. To sustain the progress that has been made, addressing these concerns will become even more important as the May 2017 agency implementation date draws nearer.