Final Standards Announced for DATA Act

Nearly 60 rules outlined for standardizing publication of federal spending data.

by / September 1, 2015
Final guidelines were announced Monday afternoon in the effort to standardize federal spending data under the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014, or DATA Act.
 
The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Department of the Treasury announced 57 data standards to improve the quality, consistency and formats of the federal spending data published on USAspending.gov
 
The data standards come several years after the initial introduction of the act in June 2011 and more than a year after the act was signed into law by President Obama in May 2014. The guidelines were initially expected within a year of the legislation being signed.
 
In a press release written by David Mader, acting deputy director for management at the OMB, and David Lebryk, fiscal assistant secretary of the Department of Treasury, the new rules are heralded as an important step toward improving informational quality and uniform data formats throughout the portal.
 
“While today marks a key milestone in our efforts to improve the quality of federal spending data, there is still more work to be done,” they said in the release. “For example, we will continue to work with federal agencies to help them begin to implement the DATA Act reporting requirements. Moving forward, we will also continue to engage our stakeholders as we work to implement these standards, develop a process to periodically review and, if necessary, update these standards, and work with recipients of federal funds to identify opportunities to streamline [the] recipient reporting burden.” 
 
As part of the timeline for the ongoing pilot program, all agencies must comply with the data standards within three years of the bill’s passage. The pilot program is set to end in May 2017 and will be followed by a Government Accountability Office report slated for November 2017. A thorough review of the published data is scheduled for May 2018.