Thompson Grants a division of CBIS

THE DATA ACT:
UNDERSTANDING THE IMPACT ON FEDERAL GRANTS AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF FEDERAL SPENDING

Tuesday, July 11, 2017 • 1:00pm-2:30pm EST


Webinar Details

Prerequisites: None

Recommended Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge and Applications

Program Knowledge Level: Basic

Advanced Preparation: None

In 2014 President Obama signed the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act into law. The  DATA Act impacts the entire grant community and all federal agencies by standardizing data elements across all grants and federal funding. The DATA Act is the nation's first legislative mandate for data transparency. It requires the Department of the Treasury and the White House Office of Management and Budget to transform U.S. federal spending from disconnected documents into open, standardized data, and to publish that data online.

On May 9, 2017, the DATA Act’s primary deadline for federal agencies arrived. Every agency began reporting standardized spending data to Treasury. Treasury combined those submissions to publish federal spending as a single, unified data set, for the first time in history.

For federal financial managers and for those who issue, oversee, and receive federal grants, the DATA Act’s new data set now provides unprecedented transparency, at the account level. The data set’s government-wide consistency and new connections between financial and award-related information now allow agencies to more easily use sophisticated data tools to track their operations and disbursements - and to illuminate potential waste and fraud.

The DATA Act also requires the government to test a whole new approach to post-award grant reporting by grant recipients. The law required the White House OMB to conduct a pilot program to test a data-centric method of reporting on the receipt and use of federal funds. This new method of reporting uses a consistent data format for financial reports to all agencies, which means grantees' software can automatically deliver information wherever it's needed after it has been entered only once. The pilot program ended in May 2017. The White House must decide whether to impose the same data format across all post-award grant reporting by August 2018.

In anticipation of new data standards the Uniform Guidance, in addition to echoing language about performance, metrics and milestones evident in the open data initiative, calls for open and readable data formats (§200.335). It promotes the use of standard data elements (§200.203), also found in M-13-13, “…agencies must use standards in order to promote data interoperability and openness.”

While complying with the open data initiative, grant recipients must protect personally identifiable information (§200.303). Data anticipated to become available under the uniform grant guidance includes spending data tied to performance data (§200.301) for all grants and all federal agency spending.

What is the most important benefit attendees will gain through this event? What is their motivation for attending?

The DATA ACT impacts the entire grant community and all federal agencies by standardizing data elements across grants and federal funding. Understanding its requirements and preparing for its implementation are necessary steps for anybody in the federal grants community.

What types of companies would benefit from this webinar?

Federal agencies as well as any nonfederal entity that is a pass through entity, recipient or subrecipient of a federal grant award.

What types of titles would benefit?

  • Grant administrators
  • Grant program staff
  • Grant accounting and finance staff
  • Internal and external auditors
  • Organizational leaders responsible for implementation

 

 

Hudson Hollister

Hudson Hollister is the founder and Executive Director of the Data Coalition, a trade association representing technology and consulting firms supporting open data in government. The Data Coalition is the main advocacy group for the implementation of the DATA Act of 2014, transforming the U.S. federal government's spending information into standardized, open data. The Data Coalition also supports data standards to transform regulatory compliance, legislative mandates, and the whole landscape of government invitation. Hudson has helped to craft landmark reforms, including the DATA Act, the OPEN Government Data Act, the Financial Transparency Act, and the Grant Reporting Efficiency and Assistance Transparency (GREAT) Act.

Hudson is also the founder of the Data Foundation, a nonprofit think tank seeking to define an open future for both government and private-sector data. The Data Foundation is responsible for the leading research on open data in federal spending and in regulatory compliance. The Data Foundation hosts the largest annual open data conference in the United States.

Prior to founding the Data Coalition and the Data Foundation, Hudson served as counsel to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the U.S. House of Representatives and as an attorney fellow in the Office of Interactive Disclosure at the Securities and Exchange Commission. Before his government service, he was a securities litigator in the Chicago office of Latham & Watkins LLP.

Hudson earned a law degree from Northwestern University and a bachelor's degree in political science and communications from the University of St. Francis.

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