Senators James Lankford (R-OK), Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management; Mike Enzi, (R-WY), Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee; Gary Peters (D-MI), Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee; and Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Ranking Member on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management today applauded unanimous passage in the Senate of their Grant Reporting Efficiency and Agreements Transparency (GREAT) Act. The bipartisan, bicameral bill would require the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the leading administrator of grant programs to streamline data transparency requirements for grant recipients and ultimately make data collection and dissemination to Congress faster and easier.
“This bipartisan bill helps provide taxpayer transparency of federal grant data, and it streamlines grant reporting requirements for recipients of federal funds,” said Lankford. “Americans should know where their money is spent and how it benefits the country. I am grateful for the bipartisan work on this bill in both chambers, and I look forward to it being signed into law so we can get to the work of actually improving the federal grant process.”
“I’m glad the Senate passed the GREAT Act, which reinforces fiscal responsibility by simplifying the grant process to help keep track of hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars,” Enzi said. “It will better utilize modern technology to increase transparency and efficiency in the grant reporting process while reducing compliance costs and burdens on recipients.”
“Federal grants provide critical support for programs and services that benefit communities in Michigan and around the country. But a burdensome reporting process can make it harder for people to access the resources they need and prevent Congress from exercising thorough oversight of federal spending,” said Peters. “I’m proud to see the Senate unanimously approve the GREAT Act, which will improve and modernize the federal grants process and increase transparency around how taxpayer dollars are awarded.”
“It is long-past time that the United States government modernize its reporting system for recipients of federal grants, which will increase transparency and strengthen federal oversight,” Hassan said. “I look forward to seeing this fiscally responsible, bipartisan bill become law.”
The US government awards more than $600 billion every year to state and local governments, agencies, and other organizations. The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 required OMB and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to conduct a pilot program to alleviate reporting burdens for grant recipients. HHS is currently the top awarder of federal grants. The pilot program found that grant recipients are often required to enter identical data multiple times, and there is no single repository for the data. This redundancy is burdensome for grant recipients and for congressional oversight.