XBRL US recommends digital reporting on pandemic recovery funds
How can we effectively track Covid-19 relief funding and understand its impact? Our colleagues at XBRL US believe a government standard is needed, enabling coordinated digital reporting.
XBRL US recently sent a comment letter in response to the US Treasury’s Interim Final Rule on implementation of the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund and the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, both established under the American Rescue Plan Act and providing a total of USD 350 billion in emergency funding to state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments. The Interim Final Rule requires a wide range of information from these varied government entities, in quarterly and annual project and expenditure reports over the next five years, generating a tremendous amount of data for the Treasury to handle.
“The most cost-effective approach is by implementing a data standards program,” says XBRL US. “This approach will result in machine-readable data, and will reduce the reporting burden on governments receiving funds, bring down the cost of data collection and analysis, and will result in more reliable, timely, useful data for policymakers, academic researchers and others who will need to monitor grantee compliance and understand the outcome of the plan.”
Not only, the letter argues, is this much more efficient than distributing multiple reporting templates or building a custom database solution, establishing a simple data standards programme today would also set up the government to handle similar funding initiatives and ensure timely, high-quality data from these in the long term.
Read more here.