Using USAspending.gov Data for Grant Applications

The passage of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (DATA Act) has unlocked a wider array of U.S. government spending data for public consumption. Among the beneficiaries of this data are federal grant applicants and the new beta version of USAspending.gov. (Note: The data is still being migrated, so more historical data is available here.)

USAspending.gov Homepage

How Could This Data Help?

Continue reading Using USAspending.gov Data for Grant Applications

‘Harmonizing’ U.S. Federal Grant Terminology

The U.S. federal government is in the midst of an effort to fix inconsistencies in the terminology used across federal financial assistance application forms. The home for the newly “harmonized” terms is the Common Data Element Repository Library, or CDER Library.

CDER Library logo

Over the years, synonymous data elements on federal grant forms have sometimes been used interchangeably. For example, forms from different systems and applications have listed “address” as “Street 1”, as “Address Line 1” or as “Street Address Line 1”.

Continue reading ‘Harmonizing’ U.S. Federal Grant Terminology

What Is the OMB’s ‘Uniform Guidance’ for Grants?

With a name like Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (commonly called “Uniform Guidance”), you’re unlikely to mistake this government publication for a comic book or romance novel. But, unless you’re a federal grants expert, you may have some difficulty pinning down the Uniform Guidance’s main goal.

What is blog series logo

In plain English, the Uniform Guidance is simply a set of authoritative rules and regulations about federal grants from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This “guidance” is designed to keep everyone in the federal grants community – Congress, grant-making agencies, and applicants – on the same page.

Continue reading What Is the OMB’s ‘Uniform Guidance’ for Grants?

Where Do Grants Go? Awards, USAspending.gov, and the DATA Act

Lots of grants are awarded by different grant-making agencies each year, so you may wonder—where do the grants go? Who receives the funding?

These are important questions. We will begin to answer them here, and we will also tell you where you can find more specific answers.

Character asking the question, "So, where do grants go after the funding opportunity closes on Grants.gov?"

Continue reading Where Do Grants Go? Awards, USAspending.gov, and the DATA Act

DATA Act Updates: New OMB Memo and Highlights for the Federal Grant Community

Last week, OMB released the latest memo on the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act)—Additional Guidance for DATA Act Implementation: Implementing a Data-Centric Approach for Reporting Federal Spending Information.

The memo describes the main steps agencies need to take to improve data quality and transparency on where the Federal Government’s award data (i.e., from grants or contracts) should be displayed for the public.

The DATA Act

David Miller, the Controller of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), writes, “The reporting of data in accordance with the data definition standards will enable financial data to be posted on USASpending.gov for use by taxpayers and policy makers in a consistent, reliable, and searchable format.”

Continue reading DATA Act Updates: New OMB Memo and Highlights for the Federal Grant Community