Report: HHS to Pilot DATA Act Financial Reporting Standards; Bryan Sivak Comments

Bryan Sivak
Bryan Sivak

The Department of Health and Human Services will pilot the data standardization measures of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act over a two-year period beginning May 2015, FedScoop reported Wednesday in an exclusive.

Billy Mitchell writes that the Office of Management and Budget has tasked HHS to implement the federal grant reporting portion of the DATA Act.

Amy Haseltine, director of the DATA Act Program Management Office and chief DATA Act officer, told FedScoop that OMB and the Treasury Department aim to utilize the findings from the pilot to determine the mandate’s impact and identify opportunities for streamlining financial reporting.

Mitchell reports that the pilot program will also explore the role of technology and the benefits and challenges in adopting data standards, particularly for an agency such as HHS with multiple component organizations.

“If we can figure out how to do it in this complex environment, that makes it obviously that much easier for people in less complex environments to do the same thing,” said Bryan Sivak, HHS chief technology officer.

“[Part] of why a lot this work is necessary is actually to understand how that complexity can be reduced to something that we can put out there and people can actually wrap their heads around.”

Haseltine told FedScoop that OMB has been working with HHS on exploring issues on data transparency, financial accountability and data definition language.

All agencies will be required to implement the DATA Act standards on their financial reporting by May 2017, the report said.

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