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H.R. 4887: Grant Reporting Efficiency and Agreements Transparency Act of 2018

The text of the bill below is as of Jan 29, 2018 (Introduced).


I

115th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 4887

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

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 standard data elements for grant reporting.

6404. Agency requirements.

6401.

Definitions

In this chapter:

(1)

Agency

The term agency has the meaning given that term in section 551 of title 5.

(2)

Core standard data elements

The term core standard data elements means data elements that are not program-specific in nature and are required by 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).

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 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)

a comprehensive taxonomy of standard definitions for data elements required for managing Federal awards; and

(B)

unique and nonproprietary 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 standard 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)

be nonproprietary;

(3)

incorporate standards developed and maintained by voluntary consensus standards bodies;

(4)

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

(5)

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 core standard data elements 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)

software providers seeking to build tools that automatically compile and submit grant-related reports and organizations representing such software providers; and

(5)

members of the public, including privacy experts and privacy advocates.

6403.

Guidance applying standard data elements 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; and

(2)

allow the Director to permit exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

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 website. 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.

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).

7.

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 award.