What is Section 5 Grants Pilot?

Section 5 of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (DATA Act), Public Law 113-101, requires the Federal government to establish a pilot program, with participation of appropriate Federal agencies, to facilitate development of recommendations for:

  • Standardized reporting elements across the Federal government
  • Elimination of unnecessary duplication in financial reporting
  • Reduction of compliance costs for recipients of Federal awards

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) assigned the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide tactical leadership and to serve as the executing agent for the pilot as it relates to the grants community. HHS's vision of the Section 5 Grants Pilot includes:

  • Opportunities to reduce recipient burden through use of standardized data elements and/or streamlined reporting requirements
  • Analysis of standardized grants data elements in the context of the grants lifecycle and associated business processes
  • Technology to facilitate access to and use of Federal grants information, and increased understanding of standardized data elements

Statutes required the Section 5 Grants Pilot to begin no later than May 9, 2015 and to conclude on May 8, 2017; with data collection to inform a follow-on report to Congress. The Section 5 Grants Pilot launch schedule and activities for May 2015 included:

  • Launch of a Standardized Data Element Repository Library (SDER Library), a Federal government-wide resource to facilitate consistency of Federal financial and business terms and definitions, inclusive of agreed-upon standardized data elements
  • Launch of an expanded Grants.gov portal for public use, to promote greater transparency and easier access to grant lifecycle information
  • Partnership with OMB to initiate dialogue around elimination of unnecessary duplication in financial reporting and reduced compliance costs for Federal award recipients