Wondered What GATB Had Been Up To?

July 10, 2012 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

So, we haven’t heard much from the Government Accountability and Transparency Board lately. Now we have. On Monday, GATB presented an update to President Obama, which was featured in a post on the Office of Management and Budget blog, on the progress of technological recommendations it is spearheading to improve grants management.

The first recommendation was to leverage cutting-edge technology to improve governmentwide accountability and help detect and prevent waste, fraud and abuse. Along with pilot programs launched by the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board and GATB on how to best deploy such solutions govermentwide, OMB and the Department of the Treasury have launched the Do Not Pay tool to help federal agencies reduce improper payments. GATB anticipates every federal agency will use the Do Not Pay solution by next spring.

The second recommendation was to streamline and integrate how it collects and displays data. GATB recommended working to create a single electronic collection system for grant-related data to eliminate system redundancies and reduce recipients’ burden of reporting to multiple agencies. RATB is using Recovery.gov as a template for such a system, and is launching a pilot with selected grant recipients to see whether FederalReporting.gov can be used as a centralized collection point for grant data.

The third recommendation was to migrate to a universal ID system for all federal awards to ensure uniformity and consistency of data and enhance transparency of government spending. GATB is assessing the feasibility of implementing a universal award ID, as well as determining the IT components behind it. It also is discussing with agencies about the costs and benefits of a universal award ID.

It will be interesting to see what comes out of all these IT projects that GATB is overseeing. With all the other potential grant reforms coming down the pike, having the necessary IT processes and procedures in place is a must if grants management processes are to have the desired effect of being more streamlined and simpler.

Let us know how you feel about the work of the GATB and RATB and the pace of the projects.



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