NCUA boosts a data quality score in DATA Act audit to ‘excellent’; one suggestion included for submissions

An inspector general audit of the financial and award data provided to Treasury by the federal credit union regulator earned the agency an “excellent” rating for award-level data in the fourth quarter of 2020, up from the “lower” rating given in the first quarter of 2019, the audit report shows.

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Office of Inspector General conducted the audit in accordance with the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (DATA Act), according to the report, dated Nov. 8. The audit assessed the: (1) completeness, accuracy, timeliness, and quality of the financial and award data submitted for publication on; and (2) the NCUA’s implementation and use of the government-wide financial data standards established by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Treasury.

The audit found that the agency used the government-wide financial data standards for spending information as defined by OMB and Treasury and that its internal controls operated effectively to report financial data in accordance with the DATA Act, the report shows. It also assessed the agency’s award-level data submission, which Hagen wrote achieved a data quality score “increased significantly due to internal control improvements.”

Projected error rates for completeness, accuracy, and timeliness of the data were all within the ranges associated with a 95% confidence level, according to the report.

The OIG’s suggestion is that during the certification process for each DATA Act submission, NCUA management: (1) ensure the “senior accountable official” (SAO) provides a signed assurance statement, outside of the DATA Act Broker [the tool used for submissions to Treasury], that supports the agency’s submission and includes any known variances, issues, or data limitations impacting the agency’s submission for the specific reporting period; and (2) if applicable, provide additional language in the DATA Act Broker certification statement to support the submission.

It said management indicated the NCUA would implement the suggestion.

Audit of the NCUA’s Compliance Under the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (Report #OIG-21-07 Nov. 8, 2021)