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Open Government

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  1. Open Government David Curren – NIH Richard Fenger – University of Washington

  2. Recap from Last Meeting – Jan 2014 • Legislative Update • DATA Act • GRANT Act • GONE Act • Transparency Impact on Select Issues • Dual Use Research • Animal Welfare • Intellectual Property

  3. Today’s Goals • Recap from last meeting • Legislative Update • DATA Act • Transparency Impact on Select Issues • FSRS – An effort discussion

  4. DATA Act • Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 • Bill S.994 passed both houses of Congress 4/28/14. Awaiting Presidential signature. • Amends existing FFATA legislation • Assigns much of implementation to OMB and Treasury • Transfers RATBoard assets to Treasury and allows central data analysis center

  5. DATA Act – Agency Reports • Requires Agency reports to USASpending.gov: • data for each appropriations account: amount appropriated, amount obligated, and "other budgetary sources" • amount of funds obligated/outlayed for each program activity • amount of funds obligated/outlayedfor each object class • amount obligated (by object class) for each program activity • Reports preferred monthly but required quarterly • Reports due to begin 3 years after enactment

  6. DATA Act – Definitions • Program Activity: A specific activity or project as listed in the program and financing schedules of the annual budget of the United States Government. • Object Class: The category assigned for purposes of the annual budget of the President submitted under section 1105(a) of title 31 USC, to the type of property or services purchased by the Federal Government.

  7. DATA Act – Reporting Elements • OMB/Treasury have one year to define common data elements for financial and payment information: • Must include unique Federal identifier for awards • Does not specify reporting frequency, level of reporting (one tier of subawards, two tiers, etc). • OMB/Treasury must work with public and private stakeholders in developing standards • Agencies have two years after common data elements guidance is finalized to implement

  8. DATA Act – Burden Reduction • Two-year pilot program to evaluate reporting • Make recommendations to • Standardize reporting elements, • Eliminate financial reporting duplication, • Reduce compliance costs • Automate financial reporting to increase efficiency and reduce recipient costs. • Include between $1 -$2 billion in Federal awards • Pilot must include data from a 12-month reporting cycle

  9. DATA Act: FDP Role • Development of Common Data Elements • Subaward reporting? • How many tiers? • Best way to handle reporting by subawardees? • Taking advantage of STAR Metrics? • Problem metrics – Must include real examples of the burden

  10. DATA Act: FDP Role • Pilot Participation • Which is simpler, piloting a few small institutions with many awards, or only a few awards but at many institutions? • Discuss results of GRIP pilot

  11. DATA Act: FDP Role • Reducing Burden of Financial and Payment Reporting • Use electronic systems – FDP eRA Subcommittee • Eliminate duplicative reporting? • Combining transparency and financial reporting? • Reducing audit/compliance burden?

  12. Burden: From A Data Perspective • Richard Fenger: • Assistant Director - Decision Support Services in the Office of Research at the University of Washington • Identify data within the FSRS reporting process • Understand the effort required to report • Determine data requirements and related effort as it relates to audit standards

  13. Goal: Demonstrate general effort of sub reporting via FSRS • Inherently the activity of sub reporting is more than just FSRS via FFATA regs. Other regulations like A133 apply • Systems: eSRS and FSRS • Process: Proposals to Awards, Reporting & Maintaining, Reconciliation, and Closing • Data transverses several systems beyond FSRS

  14. Landscape: eSRS and FSRS • eSRS(Electronic Subcontracting Reporting System)This system is designed for prime contractors to report accomplishments toward subcontracting goals required by their contract. • FSRS (FFATA Sub-award Reporting System) – This system is designed to collect subcontract and sub-grant award information in compliance with the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA).

  15. Landscape: Process – Big Picture

  16. Landscape: Process – Local Picture 1 2 3 4

  17. Process Simplified for Presentation Preface: 700or so… • Proposal & Award – (A133) • Defined process • Foreign or Domestic? • Profit or Non-profit? • Checklists • Subrecipient monitoring and vetting • Capability and reliability of subrecipient • Risk Assessment • FSRS Report Entry/Review & Maintenance 170or so… • Pre-populated data and elements • 30 mins per new report • 15 min per maintenance activity (many per year) 1 2

  18. Process Simplified for Presentation 3 • RECONCILIATION • Internal data to external data • Awards to expenditures • Common ID: Difficulties relating across systems • Errors: Manual Entry • Internal tracking my not match agency • Tiers? • Close-out 4

  19. Reconciliation Process: Generally FSRS

  20. Reconciliation Process: Detailed

  21. General Findings • Unique Identifier: among the three entities, even though NIH prime project number (six digits) is recognized in some level by the three reporting systems, each source uses an adaption of it. Finding matches required the inclusion of other fields like PI name or award amount • Across Systems: finding matches required the inclusion of other fields like PI name, award amount, or project name • Four of 20 grants: were found in SEFA, NIH and USA Spending reports using Sponsor contract identifier and using amount award for FY 2013. Between SEFA and internal systems, sub recipient matches were hard to come by • Effort: 1 FTE took 40 hours to match info. Process mostly manual

  22. Questions? Thoughts?

  23. Contact Info

  24. Contact Info (continued • David Curren • Special Assistant to the OPERA Director • CurrenD@mail.nih.gov