Treasury Department Publishes Long-­Awaited Data Format for Federal Spending

May 02, 2016 3:42 AM | Data Coalition Team (Administrator)

Under DATA Act of 2014, New Format will Deliver Transparency, Enable Analytics, and Automate Compliance

Washington, D.C. — Today the Data Coalition, the nation’s only open data trade association, celebrated the U.S. Treasury Department’s public release of the completed DATA Act Schema, Version 1.0.

Under the DATA Act of 2014, Treasury and the White House Office of Management and Budget must establish government-wide standardized data elements for federal spending – and also set up a government-wide format, or schema, that dictates how the data elements relate to one another. Treasury and OMB published fifty-seven data elements last year, and also completed a preliminary version of the schema. Last Friday, Treasury released the final schema on its Federal Spending Transparency GitHub portal.

“Friday’s announcement completes a journey that began in 2010,” said Hudson Hollister, executive director of the Data Coalition. “That’s when Rep. Darrell Issa and his staff started working on the first version of the DATA Act. From the very beginning, we wanted to mandate a government-wide format to transform federal spending from disconnected documents and siloed systems into standardized, open data.”

Friday’s announcement also included specific instructions to agencies on how to create and upload standardized data files that conform to the 57 DATA Act elements and the DATA Act Schema. All federal agencies must begin reporting their spending information using these standards by May 2017.

At a House Oversight subcommittee hearing last month, Treasury and OMB promised to keep Congress updated on agencies’ progress toward the deadline.

Together with the Association of Government Accountants, the Data Coalition will host its third annual public DATA Act Summit on May 26. The DATA Act Summit will feature agency financial and oversight leaders who are working to implement the new data standards – and build new analytics tools on them to improve management.

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