Sending Office: Honorable Virginia Foxx
Original Cosponsors: Representatives Robin L. Kelly, Scott DesJarlais, Derek Kilmer,
Gary J. Palmer, Mike Quigley, Mark Walker
Every year, the federal government allocates over $650 billion dollars in grant funding to state agencies, local and tribal governments, agencies, non-profits, universities, and other organizations. Roughly translated, this equates to the Gross Domestic
Product of Switzerland – or more than the GDP of every country outside the G20.
Within our federal government, there are 26 agencies awarding federal grants. And all of them continue to rely on outdated, burdensome document-based forms (PDFs) to
collect and track grant dollars. Society has moved into a new age of information and technology, and it’s time that our government follow suit.
Among the problems facing grant reporting processes, two issues have constantly risen to the top. First, the agencies do a poor job of delivering transparency to Congress and taxpayers. Secondly, grant recipients bear unacceptable costs of compliance. Transforming
reporting platforms from static documents into digital, searchable data would address both problems.
Adopting a government-wide open data structure for all the information grantees reports will alleviate compliance burdens, provide instant insights for grantor agencies and Congress, and enable easy access to data for oversight, analytics and program evaluation.
That is why we introduced the Grant Reporting Efficiency and Agreements Transparency Act, or GREAT Act of 2019 (H.R. 150). This bipartisan bill will modernize grant reporting by mandating a standardized data structure for information that recipients report
to federal agencies. Unless the reporting requirements for federal grants are machine-readable (searchable), the auditing process will continue to yield waste and inefficiency at best, allowing fraud and abuse at worst.
OMB has already
issued draft data standards (426 defined data elements) which are open for public comment until January 14th. The GREAT Act would help legally define this work and give Congress a direct means to conduct oversight.
To request more information or to be added as a cosponsor, please contact
email@example.com in the office of Rep. Virginia Foxx or
firstname.lastname@example.org in the office of Rep. Jimmy Gomez.
Virginia Foxx Jimmy Gomez
Member of Congress Member of Congress
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0