Federal Data Transparency: Opportunities Remain to Incorporate Recovery Act Lessons Learned Page: 4 of 16
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financial, award, and procurements systems. It also increases the cost of
government transactions and the burden on federal fund recipients. And,
as we have reported previously, the accuracy and reliability of the data
needs to be improved.4 Emerging transparency efforts include specific
changes in data collection under consideration by the Office of
Management and Budget (OMB) and the Government Accountability and
Transparency Board (GAT Board), newly-created under a June 2011
My testimony today is drawn from our recent report to you on efforts to
improve federal data transparency. It will address (1) federal initiatives
under way to improve the accuracy and availability of federal spending
data and (2) the extent to which lessons identified by us and federal fund
recipients from the operation of Recovery.gov and USAspending.gov are
being addressed by these new transparency initiatives.
To conduct our work on federal data transparency efforts, we examined
data collection and reporting requirements under FFATA and the
Recovery Act; the June 2011 Executive Order related to transparency;6
relevant OMB guidance;7 and action plans created by the GAT Board, the
Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board (Recovery Board), and
other federal entities with responsibility for developing approaches to
improve federal data transparency. We interviewed officials at OMB, the
GAT Board, and the Recovery Board who are examining new data
transparency initiatives. We also interviewed officials at three agencies
who are developing new transparency prototypes within their agencies:
the Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Health and Human
Services (HHS), and Department of the Treasury (Treasury), and also
interviewed officials at the General Services Administration (GSA), the
agency that manages USAspending.gov. To get their perspectives on
4See, for example, GAO, Electronic Govemment: Implementation of the Federal Funding
Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006, GAO-10-365 (Washington, D.C.: Mar. 12,
5Executive Order 13,576, "Delivering an Efficient, Effective, and Accountable
Government," 76 Fed. Reg. 35,297 (June 16, 2011).
6Executive Order 13,576.
70MB, Open Government Directive, M-10-06 (Washington, D.C.: Dec. 8, 2009); OMB,
Improving Acquisition Data Quality for Fiscal Years 2009 and 2010 (Washington, D.C.:
Oct. 7, 2009).
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United States. Government Accountability Office. Federal Data Transparency: Opportunities Remain to Incorporate Recovery Act Lessons Learned, text, September 18, 2013; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc301390/m1/4/: accessed October 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.