House and Senate Bills Overhaul Federal Reporting, Repeal FFATA
The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA, P.L. 109-282), which included new reporting requirements for recipients of federal grants and contracts, was fully implemented on October 1, 2010 (see Issue Brief 10-40). Since then, bills have been introduced in both the House and Senate that would repeal FFATA and overhaul recipient reporting requirements.
The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2011 (H.R. 2146, DATA Act) was introduced in the House on June 13, 2011, and it passed the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform a week later. It would mandate full multi-tier recipient reporting and require recipients to report on the use of funds. The bill also establishes the Federal Accountability and Spending Transparency Board (FAST Board), mirrored after the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, to coordinate and oversee grant and contracts reporting; create common data elements and data standards for use across all federal spending information systems; and focus on reducing fraud, waste, and abuse. The FAST Board would create at least one new website for federal spending data. In addition, the bill would eliminate USAspending.gov and the Census Bureau’s Consolidated Federal Funds Report, and require that the new website(s) contain the information reported by these systems. The House bill would sunset on September 30, 2018.
On the same day that the House bill was introduced, the administration issued an executive order that establishes a new oversight board to monitor all government spending, focusing on transparency of federal spending and efforts to reduce fraud, waste, and abuse. In addition, on June 16, 2011, a companion bill to House bill was introduced in the Senate, although no further action on that bill has been taken. This Issue Brief focuses on the House committee-passed bill.