The Center for Organizational Excellence, Inc. (COE), a management and technology consulting firm that helps federal agencies transform to improve efficiency and effectiveness, today announced that it was honored alongside its clients within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as the agency accepted the U.S. Department of the Treasury Secretary’s Certificate of Appreciation. DHS was recognized for its outstanding achievements in Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (DATA Act) compliance. The DATA Act, which President Obama signed into law on May 9, 2014, requires central reporting of standardized financial data.

DHS was one of only ten government-wide agencies recognized for its commitment to the DATA Act and dedicated implementation efforts, which reflect great credit on their DATA Act implementation team and the agency as a whole. DHS effectively addressed significant data reporting challenges and achieved a high-level of data quality in its first reporting period. The Department also regularly engaged with Treasury to provide critical feedback and suggestions on the reporting requirements.

The certification states in part: “The DATA Act implementation is an important milestone for the federal government. For the first time, federal agencies and the public will have access to federal spending information that is available as one single, unified data set that links spending data to awards distributed by the government. This information will serve as a tool for better oversight, data-driven decision-making, and innovation both inside and outside the government.”

DHS headquarters does not have a centralized financial system, and its 15 Components have disparate ways of collecting and reporting the same information. COE, as a subcontractor to BAE Systems, crafted a comprehensive solution for DHS enterprise-wide compliance with the DATA Act. At its heart, this project’s success rested on the early and effective communication with over 100 key stakeholders throughout the Department. In particular, COE’s experts in organizational effectiveness and human capital solutions helped DHS emphasize the importance of establishing a multi-disciplinary team, creating and implementing a robust change management and communications plan, and making collaborative tools readily available.

This effort required several concurrent and co-dependent lines of effort, which included project management support, technical support, schedule management, and risk management. Further, this project involved monitoring quality from project, product, and data perspectives.

COE is part of a growing community advocating for the publication of government information as standardized, machine-readable data. As a member and sponsor of the Data Coalition, COE supports the passing of legislation establishing data standards across the government, with the end goal of improving data quality and enhancing data-driven efforts to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse.

About COE

For over 30 years, The Center for Organizational Excellence, Inc., has been a trusted partner in helping organizations and programs transform to more efficiently and effectively accomplish their mission. We help our clients achieve meaningful and measurable outcomes by designing and delivering strategy and development consulting solutions in the areas of organizational effectiveness, human capital, information technology and data management. To learn more, visit us at