Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act)

Financial Management

The DATA Act (Public Law 113-101) was signed into law on May 9, 2014 and requires the Department of Treasury to standardize financial data and expand the amount of data reported to federal agencies by 2018. The goal of the DATA Act is to make federal expenditures easier to access and simpler to understand. While the DATA Act calls for three years of pilots, compliance will require tribal governments to focus on adopting new technologies and standardizing processes necessary to report quarterly on how federal funds are spent.

NAFOA has been identifying problematic areas and impactful steps tribal governments can take to prepare. NAFOA invites you to share your ideas and suggestions on how to reduce costs and burden associated with implementing the DATA Act. The National Dialogue and Pilot to Reduce Reporting Compliance Costs on Federal Contractors and Grantees includes key questions for which we need your input now.  

  • If you could change one thing that would ease your reporting burden associated with your awards, what would it be (e.g. time, cost, resource, other)?
  • If you have reporting requirements to the Federal government, how are those met?
  • If you could create a central reporting portal into which you could submit all required reports, what capabilities or functions would you include?

Tribal input will help NAFOA gain a better understanding of tribal government’s costs of compliance with Federal contracting and grant awards, as well as recommendations to standardize data, eliminate unnecessary duplication, and reduce compliance costs. In mid-October, NAFOA will review the input provided to seek out specific suggestions and ideas that can be turned into solutions. This dialogue will help in the effort to improve tribal economies and the efficiency in the management of federal funds.  

DATA Act Timeline:

May 2014: President Obama signs the DATA Act into law.

May 2015: Treasury and OMB must establish data standards for federal spending reports.

May 2017: Federal agencies must begin reporting their spending information using the data standards. OMB must finish a pilot program testing the standards for recipient reporting.

May 2018: Treasury and OMB must begin publishing all standardized spending data on USASpending.gov.

August 2018: All tribal governments and other federal grantee and contractors must begin reporting information using the data standards.

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