The 2015 DATA Act and Special Requirements for Reporting to USASpending.gov

The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-101) became law on  5/9/2014 as the latest evolution of the former FFATA Transparency initiative.  Like FFATA,USASpending.gov will be the primary source for public information under this law.  It will contain data supplied by both Federal agencies and by federal grantees/ contractors.  It will become the one-stop shop for federal spending where all the data fields are connected, standardized and published quarterly.

By the summer of 2015 the OMB/Treasury will announce the specifics we need to have in our IT systems such as what new XML or XBRL universal data elements and unique grant and contract identifiers.  By May 2018 the OMB/Treasury must start fully publishing the government’s grant and contract spending for public inspection.

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-113publ101/pdf/PLAW-113publ101.pdf

What’s New for Grant Awardees and Contractors?

By May 2015, the OMB and Treasury Dept must define common data elements for financial and payment information reporting.  Then by May 2016 at the latest, awardees must begin using these data elements in their reporting to USASpending.gov.

  • A unique Federal identifier will be required for all awards – we need to start this year to develop the IT infrastructure to work with the mandatory data fields.
  • DATA Act does not specify reporting frequency or level of subaward reporting
  • FDP anticipates reporting will build upon existing FFATA reporting requirements.

What’s New for Federal Agencies?

Agencies will continue to report award-specific information to USASpending.gov in line with requirements laid out by Treasury.  Additionally, agencies will report at least quarterly on the following information based on yearly appropriations:

  • Amount appropriated and obligated for each appropriations account,
  • Amount of funds obligated/outlayed for each Federal budget program activity,
  • Amount of funds obligated/outlayed for each budget object class, and
  • Amount obligated (by object class) for each Federal budget program activity.

The timeline of events:

May 9, 2014 DATA Act signed into law (Public Law 113-101)
May 9, 2015 OMB and Treasury finalize government-wide financial standards, including common data elements, unique award identifiers, and fields.
Begin pilot program on recipient reporting based on common data elements defined by OMB and Treasury
May 9, 2016 Initial report due to Congress on lessons learned from pilot reporting program
May 9, 2017 Recipient reporting begins on all Federal funds based on common data elements defined by OMB and Treasury
Agency reporting begins on spending from each appropriations account
Pilot program on recipient reporting ends
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About Suzanne Stroud

Suzanne Stroud has volunteered as a mentor for the Research Administrators Certification Council in NY to help other research administrators prepare for the CRA, CPRA and CFRA exams. You may contact Suzanne if you are preparing to study for these exams or will setup study groups.

Posted on January 16, 2015, in Certified Research Administrator Credentials/Exams. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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