April 28, 2014

U.S. House Unanimously Approves DATA Act

 Historic Transparency Legislation Heads to White House

Rep. Issa at Data Transparency 2013
WASHINGTON, DC -- The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act) unanimously passed the United States House of Representatives today. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), who introduced the initial version of the DATA Act in June 2011, and Del. Eleanor Holmes-Norton (D-DC) celebrated the landmark open data legislation on the House floor.

"After three years of debate and negotiation over the DATA Act, Congress has issued a clear and unified mandate for open, reliable federal spending data," said Hudson Hollister, the Executive Director of the Data Transparency Coalition, who helped draft the initial version of the DATA Act while working on Rep. Issa's staff. "Our Coalition now calls on President Obama to put his open data policies into action by signing the DATA Act and committing his Office of Management and Budget to pursue robust data standards throughout federal financial, budget, grant, and contract reporting."

The DATA Act builds the necessary infrastructure to standardize and publish federal spending data, putting into law several key elements of the President’s May 2013 Open Data Policy. The DATA Act improves upon the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act, which then-Senator Barack Obama sponsored in 2006, by mandating the adoption of consistent government-wide data standards.

"Agencies usually do not and cannot tell us how much taxpayer money has been spent on any given program," said Rep. Issa on the House floor shortly before securing the bill's passage. "The American people deserve to know if their taxpayer dollars are being wasted or whether they are being spent wisely."

Rep. Darrell Issa will join with the bill's main Senate sponsors -- Mark Warner (D-VA) and Rob Portman (R-OH) -- in celebrating the DATA Act's passage tomorrow, Tuesday April 29, at the Coalition's Data Transparency Summit at Union Market in Washington, DC. The DATA Act represents a business opportunity for the tech industry to create value for citizens, public servants, and federal grantees and contractors. The Coalition's members will demonstrate their ability to republish, analyze, and automate federal spending data at tomorrow's Summit. The Summit is presented by PwC. The Information Technology Industry Council and IT Alliance for Public Sector, represented by President and CEO Dean Garfield, will co-host as a Special Policy Partner.

The event will be webcast beginning at 9:00 am EDT.

2 comments:

  1. Big step forward. Lets hope that all work together for a successful project and implementation.

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  2. Hudson, Congratulations to you and the Data Transparency Coalition and members of the XBRL community for a major step forward.This is a major step forward in bringing transparency and accountability to the federal government spending. I truly believe this can be an opportunity to reestablish trust in government as it will force the discipline of accountability when the numbers can be seen. The quote by Ford's CEO Alan Mulally during their turnaround seems apropos, "You can't manage a secret." Bu connecting the many disparate government systems with standardized and open data, there will be less and less "secrets" and more and more people who can look for the meaning behind the numbers. Ultimately those insights can lead to actions to look for fraud, errors, and opportunities. Kudos!

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