The House of Representatives had a unanimous vote yesterday. Let me say that again, The House of Representatives of the United States had a unanimous vote. They passed legislation that would make the federal government establish common data standards. That would be step one. The 2nd and 3rd part might be a little more complicated. The legislation also requires the federal government to publish all information related to federal spending.
All that data would than have to be stored at a central digital repository. In the wake of the major leaks by Edward Snowden one wonders how accurate these files will be. Clearly some budgets will have to be kept off the books. Clearly I’ve been watching too much Scandal.The Senate also voted for the legislation appropriately called The DATA Act on April 10. It will now head to President Obama’s desk to be signed into law.
The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (S.944) (DATA Act) also known as the DATA Act hopes to save the government money by simplifying reporting. The actual summary of the bill by the House says it hopes to build “government-wide financial data standards and increas[ing] the availability, accuracy, and usefulness of Federal spending information.
The DATA Act requires the federal spending information to be made public and available online without people having to jump through hoops. The website where the public will be able to read and download this information once the President signs the bill is USAspending.gov.
“Today’s passage of the DATA Act is a victory for taxpayers. Addressing rampant waste and fraud in government starts with making publicly accessible, structured information available online for everyone—taxpayers and watchdogs alike… The DATA Act is a win for good government, moving the federal bureaucracy into the digital age and setting the stage for real accountability.” ~House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA)