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Data Revisions Overview

AmpliFund has been committed to sharing information weekly on some of the revisions the OMB has made to its Guidance for Grants and Agreements to help you maintain compliance. Thus far, we have covered:

Wondering how and if the OMB addressed data in their recent revisions of the Guidance for Grants and Agreements?

This edition of our Breaking Down OMB’s Recent Guidance for Grants and Agreements Revisions series will answer those questions – because it’s all about data.

Read on to learn more about how the OMB is clarifying machine-readable data requirements, revising their discussion of information collection requests, and increasing transparency to reflect the DATA Act in this Guidance.

Clarification of Machine-Readable Data

If you work with Federal funds, you have likely heard a lot about machine-readable data in recent years. Through legislation, the Federal government has emphasized the importance of using a machine-readable format, or a format that a computer can easily process without human intervention while still ensuring no semantic meaning is lost. To continue this trend, the OMB is clarifying the appropriate methods for data collection, transmission, and storage in this Guidance. This clarification also serves to reinforce the machine-readable requirements in the Foundations of Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018 and accompanying OMB guidance. 

The Guidance indicates a need to continuously evaluate which standards and structures are needed, as opposed to defining a clear standard. This means that flexibility in data collection is paramount.  On the Federal side, a shared infrastructure is also pushed as a continuation of CAP goal #2.

Revision of Data Standards

To promote uniform application of standard data elements in future information requests, the OMB has revised their discussion of information collection requests in this Guidance. This revision serves to reflect that these requests must adhere to the standards available from the OMB-designated standards lead. The OMB also made this clarification to further support other OMB memorandums which state that future shared service solutions must adhere to the Federal Integrated Business Framework standards.

Increase of Transparency

To support the Federal Funding and Accountability Act of 2006 (FFATA) and the Data Accountability and Transparency (DATA) Act, the OMB has made some revisions to this Guidance specifically to increase transparency of Federal spending. As FFATA and the Data Act mandate that Federal agencies report any Federal appropriations received or expended by both Federal agencies and non-Federal entities, the OMB has revised the reporting thresholds in this guidance to further align financial assistance requirements with those of the Federal acquisition community. In this updated Guidance, for example, the OMB has raised the reporting threshold for subawards that equal or exceed $30,000.

How to Prepare for Compliance With These Changes

To maintain compliance with any grant-related data regulations, you must employ a reliable system through which you can input, monitor, and report on data to ensure accuracy. Through a cloud-based solution like AmpliFund, you can collect all data via forms and fields that you can configure to meet ever-changing regulations and data standards. AmpliFund also allows your users to store documents as well as transmit them in messages, ensuring you are reporting on your data on time, through one system.

And you don’t need to leave the AmpliFund portal to find standard Federal reporting forms. AmpliFund users have access to them directly through the AmpliFund knowledge center.


You can access the full version OMB’s updated Guidance for Grants and Agreements here.

Stay tuned for Part Five of this series, covering risk management.

All editions of this series are now available on our blog:

Image source:  Adeolu Eletu

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