In May 2014, Public Law 113-101 Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act) was signed into law with the purpose to establish government-wide financial data standards and increase the availability, accuracy, and usefulness of Federal spending information. The Act aimed to:
- Establish Data Standards
Establish government-wide data standards for financial information and provide consistent, reliable, and searchable government-wide spending data that is accurately displayed.
- Simplify Reporting
Simplify reporting for entities receiving Federal funds by streamlining requirements and reducing compliance costs while improving transparency.
- Improve Data Quality
Improve the quality of data submitted to USAspending.gov by holding Federal agencies accountable for the completeness and accuracy of the information submitted.
- Expand Accountability
Expand the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (FFATA) to disclose direct Federal agency expenditures and link Federal contract, loan, and grant spending information to programs.
- Apply Proven Approaches
Apply recommendations developed by the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board for spending across the Federal government to increase spending transparency and reduce reporting burden.
After releasing 57 data standards in 2015, Treasury and agencies worked together to iteratively develop technical guidance based on the original data standards, ultimately culminating in the release of the DATA Act Information Model Schema (DAIMS) version 1.0 (v1.0) in 2016. Treasury continues to update the DAIMS as needed with input from Federal agencies.
In April 2017, agencies submitted data to Treasury in accordance with DATA Act requirements, using the technical guidance provided in DAIMS v1.0. The data is displayed at Beta.USAspending.gov, the new USAspending website that Treasury published in May 2017.