In 2023, building upon the successful 2020 exploratory pilot effort and recommendations published in the 2021 Report to Congress, OMB launched the Federal Program Inventory, which focuses on Federal financial assistance.

Why focus on financial assistance and assistance listings?

2 CFR 200.203 identifies the Federal Assistance Listings (ALs) as "the single, authoritative, governmentwide comprehensive source of Federal financial assistance program information produced by the executive branch of the Federal Government." Housed in the System for Award Management public website (SAM.gov) run by the General Services Administration (GSA), ALs provide a detailed picture of financial assistance programs for use by potential applicants and provide transparency to the general public about Federal resources. Each program must be identified by title and its authorizing statute, and be assigned an identifying number (AL Number).

Over the past several years, financial assistance has routinely accounted for over $3 trillion of spending and constitutes a high proportion of Federal programs. Additionally, ALs are tied to agency financial data through DATA Act reporting and to performance data through the requirement for agencies to report accomplishments within them. By starting with assistance listings, OMB can build an FPI website that accounts for a significant portion of all Federal programs.

What data is used for the FPI?

The FPI relies on publicly available, agency-provided data in two authoritative systems: SAM.gov and USASpending.gov. While the 2020 exploratory pilot relied on a labor-intensive data call from agencies, this new approach allows OMB to generate a more interactive and up-to-date inventory that includes all assistance listings.

For more information on the data used in the FPI, see "About the data".

Initial insights and future steps

A key finding in the development of this inventory is that assistance listings can and should be used as the basis for the Federal Program Inventory. However, this underlying data must continue to be improved.

While analysis and stakeholder engagement are ongoing, below are initial insights from the development of the FPI:

  • Definition of program: While assistance listings are "the single, authoritative, governmentwide comprehensive source of Federal financial assistance program information" (2 CFR 200.203), there are still instances where they do not align with other authoritative lists of "programs". OMB will continue to work with Agencies to ensure that assistance listings consistently represent programs and that other authoritative sources of Federal assistance programs align with assistance listings.
  • Categories: The 2020 exploratory pilot found the use of categories to be helpful both for collecting information on programs and for understanding and analyzing program data. While Agencies currently assign programs to mission-based categories during the creation of an assistance listing, there is insufficient instruction as to what these categories represent or how they will be used. The current assistance listing template has three separate questions that ask agencies to identify the program's intended use/function/subject from pre-defined lists. OMB will work with Congress and Agencies to update and streamline these lists and to provide additional information on how these categories will be used so that Agencies can ensure correct program alignment.
  • Data standardization: The data fields used for the assistance listings do not always match other government systems such as USAspending.gov and Grants.gov. OMB will evaluate and update the fields Agencies are required to fill out for assistance listings based on a comprehensive understanding of the information needed across systems reporting program data. For example, "eligible applicant type" as reported in the assistance listings does not currently align with "recipient type" used in systems such as USAspending.gov.
  • Performance: A central goal of the FPI is to better link spending and performance data across programs and agencies. Currently, agencies are instructed to include information about program performance measures in the "Objective" section. To meaningfully leverage program performance data, the collection of that data will be standardized within the AL template.
  • Governance: The process for creating, updating, reviewing, and clearing assistance listings needs to be clarified and streamlined. Ensuring the quality and consistency of assistance listings requires each agency to identify an accountable agency official. OMB will work with each agency's Senior Financial Assistance Officer to ensure appropriate review processes are in place. Additionally, OMB and GSA will collaborate to develop workflows that would facilitate the review and clearance of numerous assistance listings by these officials and OMB staff.
  • System: While the assistance listings data can serve as the basis for the Federal financial assistance portion of the FPI, SAM.gov was not built for the type of comparison and analysis that the FPI website should enable. OMB will work with the General Services Administration to determine appropriate next steps to design a system that can support these efforts.


To contact OMB regarding the Federal Program Inventory, please contact fpiwebsite@omb.eop.gov.