GAO Tells Treasury, OMB to Improve DATA Act Reviews

spending

The Treasury Department and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) need to increase their oversight of agencies implementing the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act), according to a recent GAO report.

The report identified 51 plan elements in four separate categories—timeline, cost estimate, narrative, and project plan—found in Treasury and OMB guidance; none of the 42 implementation plans submitted to the two agencies contained all 51 elements. In addition, GAO found that, as of July 2016, OMB had not determined the full range of agencies that are required to report spending data under the Act.

“Lacking fully documented controls and processes as well as a complete population of agencies that are required to report under the DATA Act increases the risk that the purposes and benefits of the DATA Act may not be fully achieved, and could result in incomplete spending data being reported,” the report said.

New technical guidance for DATA Act implementation was released at the end of April. At the time, OMB and Treasury said they would not request new implementation plans from agencies, but in June OMB requested updated implementation plans from only from Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Act agencies by Aug. 12.

“GAO recommends that OMB, in collaboration with Treasury, determine the population of agencies required to report under the DATA Act, establish fully documented controls and processes to help ensure agencies’ effective implementation of the DATA Act, and request updated plans from non-CFO Act agencies,” the report said.

Jessie Bur
About Jessie Bur
Jessie Bur is a Staff Reporter for MeriTalk covering Cybersecurity, FedRAMP, GSA, Congress, Treasury, DOJ, NIST and Cloud Computing.
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