The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (DATA Act) requires the establishment of governmentwide data standards for financial data. These standards are intended to make it easier for taxpayers and policy makers to review and track Federal spending activity with accessible, consistent, reliable and searchable data. The act also requires inspectors general to assess the completeness, accuracy, timeliness and quality of the data submitted by agencies and their implementation and use of the data standards.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) contracted with the independent public accounting firm KPMG LLP to audit DOT’s compliance with the DATA Act during the first quarter of fiscal year 2021.
KPMG identified deficiencies in internal controls and made four recommendations, including implementing and documenting a formal quarterly review process to ensure that nonfatal warnings are investigated. KPMG also recommended that DOT develop a complete inventory of DATA Act data element sources and definitions that exist within their systems, and establish controls to ensure that the inventory is updated in response to relevant changes to systems or guidance. Third, the auditors recommended that DOT implement a control to ensure that transaction level information is reported in accordance with data standards. Finally, KPMG recommended that DOT implement and document an internal oversight review process for financial assistance awards to ensure that controls are in place to verify recipients are registered in SAM6 at the time of financial assistance award. DOT concurred with all of the recommendations.