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H.R. 4887: GREAT Act

The text of the bill below is as of Sep 12, 2018 (Reported by House Committee).


IB

Union Calendar No. 738

115th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 4887

[Report No. 115–947]

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

January 29, 2018

(for herself, Mr. Gomez, Mr. Issa, Mr. Quigley, and Mr. Kilmer) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

September 12, 2018

Additional sponsors: Mr. Walker, Mr. DesJarlais, and Ms. Kelly of Illinois

September 12, 2018

Reported with an amendment, committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, and ordered to be printed

Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the part printed in italic

For text of introduced bill, see copy of bill as introduced on January 29, 2018


A BILL

To modernize Federal grant reporting, and for other purposes.


1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Grant Reporting Efficiency and Agreements Transparency Act of 2018 or the GREAT Act.

2.

Purposes

The purposes of this Act are to—

(1)

modernize reporting by recipients of Federal grants and cooperative agreements by creating and imposing data standards for the information that grants and cooperative agreement recipients must report to the Federal Government;

(2)

implement the recommendation by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, under section 5(b)(6) of the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (31 U.S.C. 6101 note), which includes the development of a comprehensive taxonomy of standard definitions for core data elements required for managing Federal financial assistance awards;

(3)

reduce burden and compliance costs of recipients of Federal grants and cooperative agreements by enabling technology solutions, existing or yet to be developed, by both the public and private sectors, to better manage data recipients already provide to the Federal Government; and

(4)

to strengthen oversight and management of Federal grants and cooperative agreements by agencies through consolidated collection and display of and access to open data that has been standardized, and where appropriate, transparency to the public.

3.

Data standards for grant reporting

(a)

Amendment

Subtitle V of title 31, United States Code, is amended by inserting after chapter 63 the following new chapter:

64

DATA STANDARDS FOR GRANT REPORTING

Sec.

6401. Definitions.

6402. Data standards for grant reporting.

6403. Guidance applying data standards for grant reporting.

6404. Agency requirements.

6401.

Definitions

In this chapter:

(1)

Agency

The term agency has the meaning given that term in section 552(f) of title 5.

(2)

Core data elements

The term core data elements means data elements that are not program-specific in nature and are required by agencies for all or the vast majority of Federal grant and cooperative assistance recipients for purposes of reporting.

(3)

Director

The term Director means the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

(4)

Federal award

The term Federal award

(A)

means the transfer of anything of value for a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by a law of the United States, including financial assistance and Government facilities, services, and property;

(B)

includes grants, subgrants, awards, and cooperative agreements; and

(C)

does not include—

(i)

conventional public information services or procurement of property or services for the direct benefit or use of the Government; or

(ii)

an agreement that provides only—

(I)

direct Government cash assistance to an individual;

(II)

a subsidy;

(III)

a loan;

(IV)

a loan guarantee; or

(V)

insurance.

(5)

Secretary

The term Secretary means the head of the standard-setting agency.

(6)

Standard-setting agency

The term standard-setting agency means the Executive department designated under section 6402(a)(1).

(7)

State

The term State means each State of the United States, the District of Columbia, each commonwealth, territory or possession of the United States, and each federally recognized Indian Tribe.

6402.

Data standards for grant reporting

(a)

In general

(1)

Designation of standard-setting agency

The Director shall designate the Executive department (as defined in section 101 of title 5) that issues the most Federal awards in a calendar year as the standard-setting agency.

(2)

Establishment of standards

Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this chapter, the Secretary and the Director shall establish Governmentwide data standards for information reported by recipients of Federal awards.

(3)

Data elements

The data standards established under paragraph (2) shall include, at a minimum—

(A)

standard definitions for data elements required for managing Federal awards; and

(B)

unique identifiers for Federal awards and entities receiving Federal awards that can be consistently applied Governmentwide.

(b)

Scope

The data standards established under subsection (a) shall include core data elements and may cover any information required to be reported to any agency by recipients of Federal awards, including audit-related information reported under chapter 75 of this title.

(c)

Requirements

The data standards required to be established under subsection (a) shall, to the extent reasonable and practicable—

(1)

render information reported by recipients of Federal grant and cooperative agreement awards fully searchable and machine-readable;

(2)

incorporate standards developed and maintained by voluntary consensus standards bodies;

(3)

be consistent with and implement applicable accounting and reporting principles; and

(4)

incorporate the data standards established under the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (31 U.S.C. 6101 note).

(d)

Consultation

In establishing the data standards under subsection (a), the Secretary and the Director shall consult with, as appropriate—

(1)

the Secretary of the Treasury, to ensure that the data standards incorporate the data standards created under the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (31 U.S.C. 6101 note);

(2)

the head of each agency that issues Federal awards;

(3)

recipients of Federal awards and organizations representing recipients of Federal awards;

(4)

private sector experts;

(5)

members of the public, including privacy experts, privacy advocates, and industry stakeholders; and

(6)

State and local governments.

6403.

Guidance applying data standards for grant reporting

(a)

In general

Not later than 2 years after the date of the enactment of this chapter—

(1)

the Secretary and the Director shall issue guidance to all agencies directing the agencies to apply the data standards established under section 6402 to all applicable reporting by recipients of Federal grant and cooperative agreement awards; and

(2)

the Director shall prescribe guidance applying the data standards to audit-related information reported under chapter 75.

(b)

Guidance

The guidance issued under this section shall—

(1)

to the extent reasonable and practicable—

(A)

minimize the disruption to existing reporting practices for agencies and for recipients of Federal grant and cooperative agreement awards; and

(B)

explore opportunities to implement modern technologies within Federal award reporting;

(2)

allow the Director to permit exceptions for categories of grants if the Director publishes a list of such exceptions, including exceptions for Indian Tribes and Tribal organizations consistent with the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act; and

(3)

take into consideration the consultation required under section 6402(d).

6404.

Agency requirements

Not later than 3 years after the date of the enactment of this chapter, the head of each agency shall ensure that all of the agency’s grants and cooperative agreements use data standards for all future information collection requests and amend existing information collection requests covered by chapter 35 of title 44 (commonly referred to as the Paperwork Reduction Act) to comply with the data standards established under section 6402, consistent with the guidance issued by the Secretary and the Director under section 6403.

.

(b)

Technical and conforming amendment

The table of chapters for subtitle V of title 31, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item relating to chapter 63 the following new item:

64.Data Standards for Grant Reporting6401

.

4.

Single audit act

(a)

Amendments

(1)

Section 7502(h) of title 31, United States Code, is amended by inserting before to a Federal clearinghouse the following in an electronic form consistent with the data standards established under chapter 64,.

(2)

Section 7505 of title 31, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(d)

Such guidance shall require audit-related information reported under this chapter to be reported in an electronic form consistent with the data standards established under chapter 64.

.

(b)

Guidance

Not later than 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Director shall issue guidance requiring audit-related information reported under chapter 75 of title 31, United States Code, to be reported in an electronic form consistent with the data standards established under chapter 64 of title 31, United States Code, as added by section 3.

5.

Consolidation of assistance-related information; publication of public information as open data

(a)

Collection of information

Not later than 4 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary and the Director shall enable the collection, public display, and maintenance of Federal award information as a Governmentwide data set, using the data standards established under chapter 64 of title 31, United States Code, as added by section 3, subject to reasonable restrictions established by the Director to ensure protection of personally identifiable and otherwise sensitive information.

(b)

Publication of information

The Secretary and the Director shall require the publication of recipient-reported data collected from all agencies on a single public portal. Information may be published on an existing Governmentwide website as determined appropriate by the Director.

(c)

Foia

Nothing in this section shall require the disclosure to the public of information that would be exempt from disclosure under section 552 of title 5, United States Code (commonly known as the Freedom of Information Act).

6.

Evaluation of Nonproprietary Identifiers

(a)

Determination required

The Director and the Secretary shall determine whether to use nonproprietary identifiers under section 6402(a)(3)(B) of title 31, United States Code, as added by section 3(a).

(b)

Factors to be considered

In making the determination required pursuant to subsection (a), the Director and the Secretary shall consider factors such as accessibility and cost to recipients of Federal awards, agencies that issue Federal awards, private-sector experts, and members of the public, including privacy experts and privacy advocates.

(c)

Publication and report on determination

Not later than the earlier of 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act or the date on which the Secretary and Director establish data standards pursuant to section 6402(a)(2) of title 31, United States Code, as added by section 3(a), the Secretary and the Director shall publish and submit to the Committees on Oversight and Government Reform of the House of Representatives and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate a report explaining the reasoning for the determination made pursuant to subsection (a).

7.

Definitions

In this Act, the terms agency, Director, Federal award, and Secretary have the meaning given those terms in section 6401 of title 31, United States Code, as added by section 3(a).

8.

Rule of construction

Nothing in this Act, or the amendments made by this Act, shall be construed to require the collection of data that is not otherwise required pursuant to any Federal law, rule, or regulation.

September 12, 2018

Reported with an amendment, committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, and ordered to be printed