Christina Ho
Deputy Assistant Secretary
Accounting Policy and Financial Transparency
U.S. Department of the Treasury

As our federal government puts this new information infrastructure in place to enhance transparency about resource allocation and use, now is the time to look holistically at what it will take to leverage that information to effectively assess performance and value creation across our economy.

Tim Gribben
CFO
Small Business Administration

Said that through preparing spending data for submission, his agency discovered "gaps" in financial data and that "some records that we thought were being sent all along… were not being sent" to USASpending.gov

Gribben, who admitted he initially opposed the Data Act and considered it a "boondoggle," said the law will help SBA inform policy decisions and empirically justify effective programs.

"What are some legislative proposals that we need to make in order to be able to deliver our programs the way that they were originally intended?" he asked. The Data Act, Gribben said, "provides us the data to go back to Congress and say, 'here's why we're asking for these legislative changes.'"

He also praised the Data Act as providing insight into what other agencies are doing, adding that the transparency of spending data will reduce overlap and help agencies fulfill oversight recommendations.

"What we're working on now is taking massive amounts of data, and overlaying it with data that's provided from other government agencies, as well as the private sector," Gribben said.

But "they get it," Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, whose IT modernization legislation is up for a House vote in the coming weeks, told reporters during a press gaggle Tuesday. He met with some of the members including Cordish and technology aide Matt Lira, and they have been "helpful in articulating how they want to use this new tool," Hurd said.

Hurd's Modernizing Government Technology Act, which Tuesday made it through a House oversight committee markup with no amendments and unanimous support, would create working capital funds at individual agencies that could be used for modernization efforts. It would also create a governmentwide fund agencies could apply to for additional money.

Meetings with the office helped Hurd's staff tweak the language of the bill—and Trump's team has been concerned about federal technology since the presidential transition, Hurd explained.

January 24, 2017
U.S. Department of the Treasury
Christina Ho and Dorrice Roth
Harnessing the Power of Financial Data

January 24, 2017
FedScoop - Samantha ​Ehlinger
Mulvaney: DATA Act crucial for sorting out federal spending

Christina Ho
Deputy Assistant Secretary
Accounting Policy and Financial Transparency
U.S. Department of the Treasury

Ho said that publishing under the DATA Act is just the beginning. In part of the work to get to this point, her team created the DATA Act Information Model Schema — the set of governmentwide data standards for agencies to follow when publishing spending data.

And that standard could be extended to state and other countries’ governments, Ho said.

“We’re taking the first step to tell people how much we’ve been spending, on what, but ultimately, the question is going to be: what did we get out of it? And the performance information … all of that data is outside of the federal government. So that’s why we want the DAIMS to be extended to states and even other countries because we give out foreign aid, to eventually linking the outcome of these activities, so we can tell a holistic story about what the performance of the government is,” she said.

Matt Lira
Special assistant to the president for innovation policy and initiatives
Office of American Innovation

From the perspective of the administration, it's difficult to exaggerate how excited we are about what the Data Act represents in terms of the opportunity to transform government institutions

Mick Mulvaney
Head
Office of Management and Budget

We’re living in an age of big data, and then here we are as the federal government and we probably have some of the best big data available anywhere, but we can’t use it because no one can share it or read it..

Trump Administration

Support for Data Interioperability

April 11, 2017
AICPA’s Government Performance & Accountability Committee (GPAC)
Government Brief
More than Data: What it Takes to Understand Performance

The following articles provide some background on Trump Administration positions on data interoperability

May 2, 2017
Next Gov - Mohana Ravindranath
'They Get It,' Lawmaker Says of Trump's Innovation Office

Mick Mulvaney
Head
Office of Management and Budget

Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) stressed the importance of getting accurate and useful data in order to inform his and President Donald Trump's decision-making during his confirmation hearings to lead the Office of Management and Budget.

"In this age of big data, the government has all this data, but it isn't capable of using it because it can't even talk to itself about the numbers," Mulvaney said at his hearing before the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.

Mulvaney, best known as a debt and deficit hawk and a leader of the Tea Party faction in Congress that helped force the 2013 government shutdown, also lamented the opacity of federal spending data before the Senate Budget Committee: "It's almost as if the computer systems in the agencies are set up to not even allow the men and women working there to understand how the money is being spent."

The nominee said he was looking forward to the implementation of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, an open government law passed in 2014 requiring agencies to publish financial information in a standardized format to the USASpending.gov website

Christina Ho
Deputy Assistant Secretary
Accounting Policy and Financial Transparency
U.S. Department of the Treasury

Treasury’s vision for a 21st century Federal Finance Organization includes five key levels based on leading private sector benchmarks for finance organizations. The first level covers the basics for any finance organization — budget formulation and transaction processing. The second level includes fundamental financial policies and regulatory controls to ensure appropriate accountability.

May 4, 2017
FCW - Chase Gunter
Agencies looking beyond Data Act deadline

“To me, the meat of this bill is the working capital funds,” Hurd said. “It gives chief information officers of 24 CFO Act agencies the ability to be innovative. This isn’t a one-size fits all solution, we want to make sure those agencies that want to innovate are well-positioned.”

Under the rules, savings agencies realize by replacing legacy products with new technologies like cloud computing could be placed in a working capital fund for up to three years. Agencies can use those funds for future modernization efforts rather than lose them.

The bill also calls for the creation of a central fund through which agencies could borrow from to spur their modernization efforts. The administrator of that fund would be the Technology Transformation Service commissioner, a position within the General Services Administration now occupied by Rob Cook. The commissioner will oversee a new board charged with reviewing agency’s modernization plans and doling out funds if they are appropriated.

“TTS has proven they can be innovative and we want someone who will administer the centralized fund recognizes the importance of innovation in government,” Hurd said.