The GREAT (Grants Reporting Efficiency and Transparency) Act, which calls for data standards in grants reporting, was signed into law by the President on December 30, 2019. Key provisions of the bill include:
Section 2. Purpose. The legislation is designed to modernize reporting by Federal grants recipients; implement recommendations of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB); reduce burden and compliance costs; and strengthen oversight and management.
Section 4. Data standards.
- Two years after enactment, data standards for grants recipients must be established.
- Data standards must: (1) render information reported by recipients of Federal 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.
- The agency that administers the greatest number of grants programs shall be designated as the standard setter.
- Three years after enactment, guidance must be issued on how to apply the data standards. One year after guidance has been issued, each federal agency will ensure that all awards data is issued using the data standards.
- Every ten years, the guidance must be updated.
Section 5. Single Audit Report. Three years after enactment, guidance will be issued on requirements that audit-related data provided in the Single Audit Report must be reported in standardized format.
Section 6. Data Collection. Five years after enactment, OMB must enable the collection and public display of federal awards data in standardized format.
Section 7. Identifiers. One year after enactment, OMB must provide a report on whether nonproprietary identifiers should be used.
This is an important bill with big implications for standardized reporting by grantees, including many state and local governments.