Date: December 30, 2019
House Passes H.R. 150, the
“Grant Reporting Efficiency and Agreements
Transparency (GREAT) Act of 2019”
On December 16, 2019, the House passed H.R. 150, the Grant Reporting Efficiency and Agreements Transparency (GREAT) Act of 2019, on motion to suspend the rules and agree to the Senate version of the bill by voice vote. Introduced by Representative Virginia Foxx on January 3, 2019, the bill passed the House on January 17, 2019 and the Senate, as amended, on October 21, 2019. The bill now moves to the President for his signature. In general, the bill establishes data standard requirements for Federal grant reporting and requires agencies to report audit-related information for Federal awards in an electronic format.
The bill includes the following provisions of interest to SSA:
- Would require the Director of the Office Management and Budget (Director) to designate an Executive department as the standard-setting agency1 .
- Would require the Secretary of Treasury (Secretary) and Director to establish Government-wide data standards for information reported by Federal award recipients no later than two years after the date of enactment of this Act. Standards shall include:
- standard definitions for data elements;and
- unique identifiers for Federal awards and recipients of Federal awards.
- Would require, to the extent possible, that data standards:
- be fully searchable and machine-readable information reported by recipients of Federal awards;
- be nonproprietary;
- incorporate standards developed and maintained by voluntary consensus standard bodies;
- be consistent with accounting and reporting principles; and
- incorporate data standards established under the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) of 2006 2 .
- Would require the Director and Secretary to consult with various stakeholders, including the head of each agency that issues Federal awards, in establishing the data standards listed above.
- Would require the Secretary and the Director to issue guidance to all agencies, within three years after the date of enactment of this Act, to apply the data standards established above.
- Would require, to the extent possible, that the guidance issued above:
- minimizes the disruption of existing reporting practices; and
- explores opportunities to implement modern technologies in reporting Federal awards.
- Would require the Director to update the guidance on data standards at least once every ten years.
- Would require, no later than one year after the date the guidance is issued, the head of each agency to:
- amend existing information collection requests under the Paperwork Reduction Act to comply with the data standards.
- ensure all federal awards issued use data standards for all future information collection requests; and
- Would require audit-related information for Federal award to be reported in an electronic format.
- Would require the Director to issue guidance no later than three years after enactment of this Act.
1 31 U.S.C. 6402(a)(1), as established by this bill, would define the standard-setting agency as the Executive department that administers the greatest number of programs under which Federal awards are issued in a calendar year.
2 In general, the FFATA established under section 31 U.S.C. 6101, requires the existence and operation of a single searchable website that is accessible by the public at no cost to access, and that includes certain information for each Federal award.