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Department of the Treasury

Implementing a government-wide law


A new way to track federal spending

The U.S. federal government spends $3.8 trillion every year, which is managed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. For most people, it’s difficult to know exactly where that money goes.

The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act), which became law in 2014, requires that federal agencies adopt a common data standard so that agencies and the public can better understand how federal money is being spent. Treasury and the Office of Management and Budget are leading the implementation of the DATA Act, but they needed help developing the specifics of the new data standard and its technical implementation.

The commitment of the team and the participation of 18F subject matter experts actually simplified our job. While many organizations publicly buy into the concept and value of Agile, this team demonstrated how it would succeed. Our sponsor was committed, our product owners were engaged, and with our 18F Agile leaders helping to demonstrate best practice – our workstreams coordinated seamlessly. - Sherry L. Weir, Kearney & Company, prime contractor on the DATA Act project

Stay flexible to stay ahead of schedule

18F helped build a prototype for the technical implementation of the law to get user feedback before all of the data standards had been finalized. Our iterative approach allowed Treasury to reduce risk, use actual data to make decisions, and speed up implementation of a very complex law.

After the initial prototype, Treasury was able to hire a vendor to build the new, which will give the public powerful tools to examine federal spending. 18F has worked with Treasury and the private vendor to design the site and talk to users to make sure we’re building the best solution possible.

DATA Act implementation is one of the largest government-wide agile projects ever undertaken. As the multi-agency implementation team works to efficiently ingest information from across the government, 18F has been able to provide the development expertise, procurement strategy, and product management to ensure a successful project.