Grants Reporting Stymied by Lack of Grants Reporting

The White House is expecting federal grants agencies to provide information about those grants by next January, based mostly on data already collected and reported to the Office of Management and Budget in the MAX* system. As the White House memorandum says, “OMB intentionally developed metrics that may be predominantly measured based on information we already collect.” 

However, the Government Accountability Office says agencies aren’t reporting the information they are supposed to report. Moreover, they say, it’s OMB’s fault because OMB didn’t provide clear guidance about the data to be collected. In a recent report to Congress, GAO said agencies “did not properly report information … on grants or loans totalling $619 billion in fiscal year 2012…” They added, “gaps in … OMB guidance” make the reporting rules “unclear.”

Sure, it’s all nuanced and hedged, and according to the GAO only 10% (!) of grants they checked are missing or mis-reporting required information. But still, chicken, meet egg.



*“MAX” does not stand for anything. Why do they capitalize it as though it is an acronym?