DATA Act 2015

DATA Act 2015


(Originally posted on )

Did you know there are $600 billion in federal grants and cooperatives agreements distributed annually?

How can government grant makers increase transparency and accountability in the grants management process, while reducing administrative burden and risk of waste, fraud, and abuse when there are so many agencies, grantees and dollars to track?

That is exactly what the DATA Act aims to address.

This joint interim final rule implements for all Federal award-making agencies the final guidance Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Uniform Guidance) published by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on December 26, 2013.

The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act  (DATA Act) was passed  by Congress and signed into law on May 4, 2014 and went into effect for new grantees on December 26, 2014. This rule is necessary in order to incorporate into regulation and thus bring into effect the Uniform Guidance as required by OMB.

We are optimistic about the ways the  DATA Act will impact our organizations’ policies, proposals, financial process and grants management.

The DATA Act  significantly overhauls and strengthens Federal grant-making regulations to improve outcomes for government agencies, grant funded programs and citizens.  As part of this effort, the Council on Financial Assistance Reform (COFAR) implemented new OMB guidance on grant-making across all Federal agencies that:

  • Reduces the total volume of financial management regulation for Federal grants and other assistance.
  • Reduces administrative burdens and risk of waste, fraud, and abuse.

These changes to the financial management of Federal grant resources focus on  improving performance and outcomes  while ensuring the financial integrity of taxpayer dollars. Last December 2013,  OMB published the guidance,Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (“Uniform Guidance”),  which streamlines eight Federal regulations into a single, comprehensive policy guide.

Why is this important to most, if not ALL,  Grant Professionals? These guidelines, policies, procedures, data requirements,, etc. will impact grantees receiving federal funds, including those who receive pass-through funds. In other words, if your organization will be applying for grants from any government agency or will apply to be a sub-recipient/sub-grantee of a government grant you will , in most cases, need to comply with the new Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.

Since the DATA Act and OMB guidance training and information have been targeted to federal agencies and their current direct grantees, there is a need for more education and outreach to organizations and agencies who receive federal pass-through funds.

OMB set a one-year timeline for the Uniform Guidance to take effect, allowing enough time for Federal grant-making agencies and award recipients to update their policies to fully realize the benefits of the Uniform Guidance. Today’s action implements the Uniform Guidance across Federal grant-making agencies through an interim final rule, which will allow for additional feedback on the rule during a 60-day public comment period. The interim final rule will be effective for new awards made on or after December 26, 2014.  Read more here on the OMB Blog (Yes, OMB has a blog.) 


A joint interim final rule was published in the Federal Register on December 19. (A plain-text version can be found at the U.S. Government Publishing Office.) If you’re a grant administrator for a nonfederal entity and wondering what will happen after December 26, note: You are not required to implement the final guidance until you have received a federal award with terms and conditions that incorporate the Uniform Guidance on or after December 26, 2014. Still, now is the time to understand how grant reform affects you. The interim final rule is still open for public comment during a 60-day period—visit!documentDetail;D=OMB-2015-0001-0001 to  add your comments.


We will provide more information, training resources, and tools throughout 2015 through J. Miller & Associates, Inc., and

Are you ready for federal grant reform? Do you have questions you would like our community to answer? Leave your questions in our comments or post them on Twitter using the hashtag #Grantchat.

If you have blog posts, tools, or resources  you would like to share? Please share them in the comments below, and we will post them on this list.


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