Open Data

Hundreds of comments shape final Data Act schema

Shutterstock image: data wall.

For the 2014 Digital Accountability and Transparency Act to work, agencies need to be following the same playbook.

The Treasury Department released its finalized playbook, the Data Act Information Model Schema (DAIMS) v1.0, on April 29.

Created over four draft releases that generated hundreds of stakeholder comments, DAIMS is a guide to the reporting timeframes, data sources and data standards that make up Data Act reporting. Government-wide homogeneity is paramount if the result of the Data Act is to be a usable "display gallery" instead of a data dump.

"Friday's announcement completes a journey that began in 2010," said Hudson Hollister, executive director of the Data Coalition, in a statement. "From the very beginning, we wanted to mandate a government-wide format to transform federal spending from disconnected documents and siloed systems into standardized, open data."

As the nation's top accountants have noted, the schema is one of the few remaining pieces of guidance agencies were awaiting as they gear up for the ultimate goal: providing interoperable budget, grant, contract and other data to a federal portal by the Data Act's May 9, 2017, deadline.

Treasury and the Office of Management and Budget have already released the 57 standard data elements that will underpin Data Act reporting, though the Government Accountability Office has recommended clarifications.

About the Author

Zach Noble is a staff writer covering digital citizen services, workforce issues and a range of civilian federal agencies.

Before joining FCW in 2015, Noble served as assistant editor at the viral news site TheBlaze, where he wrote a mix of business, political and breaking news stories and managed weekend news coverage. He has also written for online and print publications including The Washington Free Beacon, The Santa Barbara News-Press, The Federalist and Washington Technology.

Noble is a graduate of Saint Vincent College, where he studied English, economics and mathematics.

Click here for previous articles by Noble, or connect with him on Twitter: @thezachnoble.


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