Senators Lankford, Enzi Bill to Improve Federal Grant Reporting Moves to Senate Floor

WASHINGTON, DC – Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Mike Enzi (R-WY) today applaud the passage of their bill, the Grant Reporting Efficiency and Agreements Transparency (GREAT) Act, S. 3484, out of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. The GREAT Act was introduced on Monday and would require the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to create a comprehensive and standardized data structure to cover all data elements reported by recipients of federal awards, including grants and cooperative agreements. The bill now awaits a vote by the full Senate.

“Congress should have usable and auditable data from grant recipients in an easy and straightforward format,” said Lankford. “When an agency spends the money of hardworking taxpayers, everyone should know how and where their money was spent. Increased demand for federal oversight does not have to mean burdensome requirements on grant recipients. The GREAT Act requires federal data transparency to make the grant process more efficient and effective. The GREAT Act streamlines data transparency requirements for grant recipients, which will ultimately make data collection and dissemination to Congress easier and faster. I am grateful for the Committee’s work on this important bill for better federal data transparency, and I look forward to full consideration on the Senate floor soon.”

“The GREAT Act would help simplify the grant process and make it more efficient and transparent,” Enzi said. “As an accountant, I know the value of keeping tabs on expenditures. This legislation would build on previous progress in government spending oversight and better track hundreds of billions of dollars in federal grants each year, reduce compliance costs and allow for more modern technologies in the federal grant process.”

The US government awards more than $600 billion every year to state and local governments, agencies, and other organizations. The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 required OMB and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to conduct a pilot program to alleviate reporting burdens for grant recipients. HHS is currently the top awarder of federal grants. The pilot program found that grant recipients are often required to enter identical data multiple times, and there is no single repository for the data. This redundancy is burdensome for grant recipients and for congressional oversight.