House of Representatives Approves the GREAT Act

In the final week of September 2018, the House of Representatives passed the Grant Reporting Efficiency and Agreements Transparency (GREAT) Act of 2018 through a voice vote.

Although there is still work to be done before the GREAT Act of 2018 can be passed into law, this latest approval signals that improvements to the state of grant reporting could be on the horizon.

What is the GREAT Act?

The GREAT Act of 2018 aims to counteract the inefficiencies of the current federal grant reporting process. As things currently stand, there is no standardized data structure when it comes to how government grant recipients report to granting agencies. This then leads to problems including duplicated information and high compliance costs.

To combat these inefficiencies, the GREAT Act would introduce open data and establish a standardized taxonomy, which should allow for grant reports to be machine-readable and fully searchable. Such changes should ultimately lead to a reduction in compliance costs while also improving current reporting processes.

What’s next?

Although progress has certainly been made since the GREAT Act was approved in early February 2018 by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, there are more hurdles to pass through before the GREAT Act can become law.

Given the clear benefits to grant reporting that the GREAT Act can bring, there are many clear advocates for its introduction, with the Executive Director of the Data Coalition, Hudson Hollister, commenting “We now urge the Senate to act and make the GREAT Act law.”

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