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GAO: OIGs Reported Varying Results on Agencies’ Data Quality

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The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has found that each Office of Inspector General (OIG) reported “varied” results on the quality of their respective agencies’ spending data.

GAO said in a report released Thursday that it studied OIG audits on agency data submissions for the first quarter of fiscal year 2019 in compliance with the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act).

According to GAO’s report, 44 out of 51 OIGs provided recommendations to improve their agencies’ data quality and that 37 OIGs reported a less than 20 percent error rate for FY 2019 agency data submissions.

However, the watchdog noted that 10 of those submissions had missing data.

Thirty-seven OIGs said their agencies had higher-quality data, while 11 reported that their agencies’ data were of low to moderate quality.

The OIGs recommended that agencies establish procedures for implementing corrective actions, develop controls for ensuring the accuracy of submitted data and implement systems that incorporate automation.

They also recommended that agencies work with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Department of the Treasury and other external parties to resolve data-related issues.