May 7, 2014

Here’s Why DATA Act Implementation May Be Successful

Editor’s Note: The governmentwide financial data standards disussed below will need to be consistent with OMB’s other data quality standards.

From: Government Executive

By John Kamensky | IBM Center for the Business of Government

Legislation recently passed by Congress will have far-reaching effects on federal agencies and hundreds of thousands of recipient of federal funds – grantees, contractors, universities, nonprofits, states and localities.

The new law gives agencies three years to implement a set of new reporting requirements to track federal spending, but it will be unbelievably complex – requiring changes in federal regulations, and in the written terms of every federal grant, contract and loan agreement of $25,000 or more. These changes will likely cascade to agreements between states and localities with their subgrantees and subcontractors, as well. Congressional sponsors of the legislation told the administration “we’re going to hold your feet to the fire” to ensure effective implementation.

The sweeping nature of this new law and its relatively tight implementation timeframe will make it challenging for public managers to comply. Fortunately, there are encouraging signs that this new law could be implemented effectively.


More specifically, the new law will:

  • Require governmentwide financial data standards for uniform reporting, including governmentwide universal award identifiers. OMB and Treasury have one year to develop these standards.

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