Federal CDOs seek further guidance from OMB on Federal Data Strategy reporting requirements

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Chief data officers across federal agencies are seeking additional clarity from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on data reporting requirements within the Federal Data Strategy, according to a new report.

The new survey published Thursday by the Data Foundation and Grant Thornton identified a demand from senior federal data leaders for more precise guidance on when new data should be passed to the executive branch of government as part of the strategy — and also more broadly on how the CDO role is more recognized among senior federal government leaders.

“CDOs requested improved guidance, both from within their agency and from federal leadership, such as OMB. Within their own agencies, CDOs were looking for agency leadership to weigh in on and support data strategy initiatives, such as data standards, privacy protection, and data policy development,” the report said.

“CDOs specifically requested clearer guidance on actions in the Federal Data Strategy, even though the timelines had passed for key deliverables. They also requested clarity on the reporting requirements from OMB on the Federal Data Strategy,” it added.

Each year an action plan is developed by a cross-agency task force to help guide the implementation of the 10-year Federal Data Strategy. So far, OMB has delivered one of those action plans in the two years since publishing the data strategy.

Other key recommendations from the report include the removal of the statutory sunset of the CDO Council, which currently is scheduled by law to sunset in 2025, and more focus from CDOs on working with other senior agency data staff to provide metrics that directly illustrate cost savings that arise from their work.

Data for the survey was collected through an initial web survey and a subsequent CDO Council survey. The CDO Council survey had a total of 39 responses.

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CDO Council, chief data officer (CDO), Data Foundation, Federal Data Strategy, Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
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