S. 3600 (112th): Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2012

112th Congress, 2011–2013. Text as of Sep 20, 2012 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

II

112th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 3600

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

September 20, 2012

(for himself and Mr. Portman) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs

A BILL

To expand the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 to increase accountability and transparency in Federal spending, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2012.

2.

Purposes

The purposes of this Act are to—

(1)

expand the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 by disclosing direct Federal agency expenditures and linking Federal contract, loan, and grant spending information to programs of Federal agencies in order to enable taxpayers and policy makers to track Federal spending more effectively;

(2)

provide consistent, reliable, and searchable Government-wide spending data that is displayed accurately for taxpayers and policy makers on USASpending.gov;

(3)

analyze Federal spending data to proactively prevent waste, fraud, abuse, and improper payments;

(4)

simplify reporting for entities receiving Federal funds by streamlining reporting requirements and reducing compliance costs while improving transparency; and

(5)

improve the quality of data submitted to USASpending.gov by holding Federal agencies accountable for the completeness and accuracy of the data submitted.

3.

Amendments to the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006

(a)

In general

Section 2 of the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (31 U.S.C. 6101 note) is amended—

(1)

in the section heading, by striking Full disclosure of entities receiving Federal funding and inserting Disclosure of Federal funding;

(2)

in subsection (a)—

(A)

by redesignating paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) as paragraphs (2), (4), and (8), respectively;

(B)

by inserting before paragraph (2), as redesignated by subparagraph (A), the following:

(1)

Board

The term Board means the Federal Accountability and Spending Transparency Board established under subsection (g)(1).

;

(C)

by inserting after paragraph (2), as redesignated by subparagraph (A), the following:

(3)

Federal agency

The term Federal agency has the meaning given the term Executive agency under section 105 of title 5, United States Code.

;

(D)

by inserting after paragraph (4), as redesignated by subparagraph (A), the following:

(5)

Federal funds

The term Federal funds means any funds that are made available to or expended by a Federal agency.

(6)

Object class

The term object class means the category assigned for purposes of the annual budget of the President submitted under section 1105(a) of title 31, United States Code, to the type of property or services purchased by the Federal Government.

(7)

Program activity

The term program activity has the meaning given that term under section 1115(h) of title 31, United States Code.

; and

(E)

in paragraph (8), as redesignated by subparagraph (A)—

(i)

in subparagraph (B), by striking paragraph (2)(A)(i) and inserting paragraph (4)(A)(i); and

(ii)

in subparagraph (C), by striking paragraph (2)(A)(Ii) and inserting paragraph (4)(A)(ii);

(3)

in subsection (b)(1)—

(A)

by redesignating subparagraphs (A) through (G) as clauses (i) through (vii), respectively, and adjusting the margin accordingly; and

(B)

by striking for each Federal award— and inserting the following: “for all Federal funds—

(A)

for each Federal agency, component of a Federal agency, appropriations account, program activity, and object class (including any subcomponent of an object class), and other accounts or data as appropriate—

(i)

the amount of budget authority available;

(ii)

the amount obligated;

(iii)

the amount of outlays;

(iv)

the amount of any Federal funds reprogrammed or transferred; and

(v)

the amount of expired and unexpired unobligated balances; and

(B)

for each Federal award—

;

(4)

in subsection (c)—

(A)

in paragraph (1)—

(i)

in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by striking and Grants.gov and inserting Grants.gov, the Payment Automation Manager and Federal Information Repository and other data or databases from the Department of the Treasury, and other data from Federal agencies collected and identified by the Office of Management and Budget;

(ii)

in subparagraph (B), by adding and at the end; and

(iii)

by adding at the end the following:

(C)

specify such search shall be confined to Federal funds;

;

(B)

in paragraph (2), by inserting the Payment Automation Manager and Federal Information Repository and other data or databases from the Department of the Treasury, other data from Federal agencies collected and identified by the Office of Management and Budget, after Grants.gov website,;

(C)

in paragraph (4)—

(i)

by striking shall be updated not later and inserting the following: “shall be updated—

(A)

not later

; and

(ii)

by adding at the end the following:

(B)

not less than once each quarter with information relating to Federal funds; and

;

(D)

in paragraph (5)—

(i)

by inserting Federal funds and before Federal awards the first place it appears;

(ii)

by striking subsection (a)(2)(A)(i) and those described in subsection (a)(2)(A)(ii) and inserting subsection (a)(4)(A)(i) and those described in subsection (a)(4)(A)(ii); and

(iii)

by striking the period at the end and inserting ; and; and

(E)

by adding at the end the following:

(6)

shall have the ability to aggregate data for the categories described in paragraphs (1) through (5) without double-counting data.

;

(5)

by redesignating subsections (e), (f), and (g) as subsections (i), (j), and (k), respectively; and

(6)

by inserting after subsection (d) the following:

(e)

Department of the Treasury requirements

(1)

In general

The Secretary of the Treasury shall collect and make available to the Office of Management and Budget financial and payment data from Federal agencies to assist the Office of Management and Budget in carrying out this section.

(2)

Data standards

(A)

In general

The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the General Services Administration, and the heads of Federal agencies, shall establish Government-wide financial data standards for Federal funds, which may—

(i)

include common data elements, such as codes, unique award identifiers, and fields, for financial and payment information required to be reported by Federal agencies;

(ii)

to the extent reasonable and practicable, ensure interoperability and incorporate—

(I)

common data elements developed and maintained by an international voluntary consensus standards body, as defined by the Office of Management and Budget, such as the International Organization for Standardization;

(II)

common data elements developed and maintained by Federal agencies with authority over contracting and financial assistance, such as the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council; and

(III)

common data elements developed and maintained by accounting standards organizations; and

(iii)

include data reporting standards that, to the extent reasonable and practicable—

(I)

incorporate a widely accepted, nonproprietary, searchable, platform-independent computer-readable format;

(II)

be consistent with and implement applicable accounting principles;

(III)

be capable of being continually upgraded as necessary; and

(IV)

incorporate nonproprietary standards in effect on the date of enactment of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2012.

(B)

Deadlines

(i)

Guidance

The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, shall issue guidance on the data standards established under subparagraph (A) to Federal agencies not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2012.

(ii)

Agencies

Not later than 1 year after the date on which the guidance under clause (i) is issued, each Federal agency shall collect, report, and maintain data in accordance with the data standards established under subparagraph (A).

(3)

Fraud center

(A)

In general

The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the heads and Inspectors General of Federal agencies, shall use the data collected under paragraph (1) and other available data (including available data from State and local governments) to detect, prevent, and recover improper payments through pre-award, post-award pre-payment, and post-payment analysis, which shall include analysis and investigations incorporating—

(i)

review and data matching of payments and beneficiary enrollment lists of State programs carried out using Federal funds for the purposes of identifying eligibility duplication, residency ineligibility, duplicate payments, or other potential improper payment issues;

(ii)

review of multiple Federal agencies and programs for which comparison of data could show payment duplication; and

(iii)

review of other information the Secretary of the Treasury determines are effective, which may include investigation or review of information from multiple Federal agencies or programs.

(B)

Report

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2012, the Secretary of the Treasury shall submit to Congress a report, which may be included as part of another report submitted to Congress, which shall include a description of—

(i)

the implementation of the Fraud Center described under subparagraph (A); and

(ii)

the metrics used in determining whether the Fraud Center has reduced, or contributed to the reduction of, improper payments or improper awards.

(4)

Improvements to access to data

(A)

In general

In order to carry out this Act, upon request by the Secretary of the Treasury—

(i)

the Commissioner of Social Security shall make available the Social Security earnings information of a living or deceased employee;

(ii)

the Director of the Bureau of Prisons shall make available information relating to Federal prisoners; and

(iii)

the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall make available information in the Credit Alert Verification System of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

(B)

Use and protection of information

The Secretary of the Treasury—

(i)

may only use information obtained under subparagraph (A) to assist in Federal debt collection and in the prevention, identification or recovery of improper payments; and

(ii)

shall ensure that data collected under paragraph (1) is adequately protected and collected in a manner consistent with privacy protections provided for by law.

(f)

Streamline recipient financial reports

The Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall—

(1)

review the reporting required by Federal agencies for Federal award recipients to reduce duplicative financial reporting and compliance costs for recipients;

(2)

request input from Federal award recipients to reduce duplicative financial reporting, especially from State and local governments and institutes of higher education;

(3)

provide instructions to the heads of Federal agencies regarding how to simplify the reporting requirements for Federal award recipients to reduce duplicative reporting and reports to reduce compliance costs, as appropriate; and

(4)

submit to Congress a report regarding any legislative action required to streamline the reporting requirements for Federal award recipients.

(g)

Federal Accountability Spending and Transparency Board

(1)

Establishment

There is established an interagency advisory board to be known as the Federal Accountability and Spending Transparency Board.

(2)

Members

(A)

In general

The Board shall consist of 5 members.

(B)

Appointment

The members of the Board—

(i)

shall be appointed by the President;

(ii)

except as provided in clause (iii), shall be an Inspector General, Chief Financial Officer, or Deputy Secretary of a Federal agency; and

(iii)

shall include not less than one senior official from the Office of Management and Budget.

(C)

Chairperson

The President shall designate a Chairperson from among the members of the Board.

(3)

Responsibilities

The Board shall—

(A)

provide strategic direction for enhancing the transparency of Federal spending based on the purposes identified in section 2 of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2012;

(B)

monitor the establishment of the Government-wide financial data standards under subsection (e)(2)(A), to support increased transparency and accountability;

(C)

monitor the collection, storage, and public disclosure of information about Federal spending transparency and compliance with this Act;

(D)

advance efforts to remediate fraud, waste, and abuse in Federal programs;

(E)

use the lessons learned from the activities of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board; and

(F)

solicit input from State and local governments, institutes of higher education, and other Federal award recipients on ways to improve Federal financial reporting.

(4)

Reports

The Chairperson of the Board, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, shall submit on a public website, to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the House of Representatives an annual report regarding implementation of this Act.

(5)

Termination of superseded board

Effective on the date on with the President has appointed all members of the Board, the Government Accountability and Transparency Board established under Executive Order 13576 (76 Fed. Reg. 35297) shall terminate.

(h)

Accountability for Federal funding

(1)

In general

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2012, and every 2 years thereafter, the Inspector General of each Federal agency, in consultation with the Comptroller General of the United States, shall submit to Congress and make publically available a report on the completeness, timeliness, quality, and accuracy of the data submitted under this Act by the Federal agency and the implementation and use of consistent data standards by the Federal agency.

(2)

Comptroller General

(A)

In general

Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2012, and every 2 years thereafter until the date that is 10 years after such date of enactment, and after review of the reports submitted under paragraph (1), the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit to Congress and make publically available a report on the data completeness, timeliness, quality, and accuracy of the data submitted under this Act by each Federal agency and the implementation and use of consistent data standards by each Federal agency.

(B)

Ranking

The Comptroller General of the United States shall make available a ranking of Federal agencies regarding data quality, accuracy, and compliance with this Act.

.

(b)

Classified and protected information

Section 3 of the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (31 U.S.C. 6101 note) is amended to read as follows:

3.

Classified and protected information

Nothing in this Act shall require the disclosure to the public or to any person without an identifiable need to know—

(1)

classified information;

(2)

personally identifiable information;

(3)

information that would compromise national security;

(4)

information that would endanger the personal safety of all entities employees or clients; or

(5)

information protected under section 552a of title 5, United States Code (commonly known as the Privacy Act of 1974), or section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

.

(c)

Expanding access by the secretary of the treasury to the National Directory of New Hires

Section 453(j)(9) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 653(j)(9)) is amended—

(1)

in the paragraph heading, by inserting and in the prevention, identification, and recovery of improper payments after collection;

(2)

in subparagraph (A)—

(A)

in the matter preceding clause (i), by striking with respect to persons— and inserting to assist in Federal debt collection and in the prevention, identification, or recovery of improper payments with respect to—;

(B)

by striking who owe and inserting the following: “persons—

(I)

who owe

;

(C)

by striking 31 U.S.C. 3711(g). and inserting section 3711(g) of title 31, United States Code; or;

(D)

redesignating clause (ii) as subclause (II), and adjusting the margin accordingly; and

(E)

by adding at the end the following:

(ii)

persons—

(I)

who receive a payment the head of a Federal executive, judicial, or legislative agency certifies is under review to determine the eligibility of the person to receive the payment; or

(II)

whose eligibility, or continuing eligibility, to participate in a program of the Federal Government (including a program administered by a State or local government) is being reviewed.

;

(3)

in subparagraph (B), by striking to improve collection of the debt and inserting for the purposes;

(4)

in subparagraph (D), by striking of collecting the debt;

(5)

in subparagraph (E)—

(A)

in clause (i), by striking of collecting the debt;

(B)

in clause (ii), by inserting and to a Federal, State, or local agency in connection with preventing, identifying, or recovering improper payments as described in subparagraph (A) before the period at the end;

(C)

in clause (iv)(II), by striking described in subparagraph (A), and all that follows and inserting , in connection with a purpose described in subparagraph (A), to a contractor or agent of either Secretary, to the Federal agency (including any contractor or agent of the Federal agency) that referred a debt to the Secretary of the Treasury for collection, or to a Federal, State, or local agency (including any contractor or agent of any such agency) for purposes of preventing, identifying, or recovering improper payments, subject to the conditions in clause (iii) and such additional conditions as agreed by the Secretaries.; and

(D)

in clause (v), by striking collecting the debt and inserting the purposes; and

(6)

in subparagraph (F), by adding at the end the following: The Secretary of the Treasury shall reimburse the Secretary for any costs attributable to the prevention, identification, or recovery of improper payments out of any appropriation available to the Secretary of the Treasury for this purpose..

4.

Executive agency accounting and other financial management reports and plans

Section 3512(a) of title 31, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (1), by inserting and make available on the website described under section 1122 after appropriate committees of Congress;

(2)

in paragraph (3)(B)(vi), by inserting , system development, financial management workforce development, related risk assessment and mitigation for the Federal Government as a whole, related risk assessment and mitigation for executive agencies, development of capacity to prevent and detect fraud, after equipment acquisitions; and

(3)

in paragraph (4), by adding at the end the following:

(C)

Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2012, and every 90 days thereafter, the Director shall submit to the appropriate committees of the Congress and make available on the website described under section 1122 a report regarding—

(i)

specific goals for the most recent full fiscal year, the fiscal year during which the report is submitted, and the fiscal year following the year during which the report is submitted that are necessary steps toward implementing the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (31 U.S.C. 6101 note) fully and in an effective, efficient, and accurate manner;

(ii)

the estimated cost, schedule, and performance associated with goals described in clause (i) that relate to capital investments in information technology; and

(iii)

the status and progress achieved toward each goal described in clause (i), including any changes to the cost, schedule, or performance baselines of achieving each goal, using earned value management where appropriate.

.