GREAT Act Reintroduced to Standardize Grant Reporting

A bipartisan group of lawmakers has reintroduced legislation that would create a standard reporting system for federal awards, including grants and cooperative agreements. The Grant Reporting Efficiency and Agreements Transparency (GREAT) Act has been introduced by Senators James Lankford (R-OK), Mike Enzi, (R-WY), Gary Peters (D-MI), and Maggie Hassan (D-NH).

Under the GREAT Act the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and agency leadership would be required to create a comprehensive and standardized data structure to cover all data elements relating to recipients of federal awards.

Senator Lankford’s office explained in a press release that the US government awards more than $600 billion every year to state and local governments, agencies, and other organizations. A pilot program previously revealed that grant recipients are often required to enter identical data multiple times due to a lack of a single repository station for all the information.

The GREAT Act aims to reduce this redundancy.

“Competing for federal grants is one of the most widely used methods of dispersing federal dollars around our nation. As you can imagine, that process can be difficult to navigate and creates hours of often duplicative compliance paperwork for grant recipients. The GREAT Act streamlines data transparency requirements for grant recipients and ultimately makes data collection and dissemination to Congress faster and easier. Increased demand for federal oversight does not have to mean burdensome requirements on grant recipients. We can have an efficient federal grants system and transparency for taxpayers at the same time,” said Lankford.

Senator Peters expressed in the same release that taxpayers should not be forced into such a difficult process to access government grants.

Peters noted, ““Taxpayers should be able to apply for these resources without being forced to navigate a complex maze of administrative processes. Making this information readily available to the American people will help streamline the grant application process, improve transparency around how taxpayer dollars are awarded, and ensure our communities can reap the full benefits of federal investments.”

The legislation has been introduced and referred to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs.

Posted in From the Hill

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