WASHINGTON – House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA), issued the following statement today on the President’s signing into law of The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act). The federal spending transparency legislation was co-sponsored by Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) in the Senate, and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) in the House.
“The enactment of the DATA Act marks a transformation in government transparency by shedding light on runaway federal spending,” said Chairman Issa. “The reforms of this bipartisan legislation not only move the federal bureaucracy into the digital era, but they improve accountability to taxpayers and provide tools to allow lawmakers and citizen watchdogs to root out waste and abuse. Government-wide structured data requirements may sound like technical jargon, but the real impact of this legislation on our lives will be more open, more effective government.”
First introduced by Chairman Issa and Ranking Member Cummings in 2011, the DATA Act standardizes reporting requirements and publishes spending information online in a useable format for journalists, watchdogs, and the public. The DATA Act allows lawmakers and the public to track federal dollars by establishing government-wide structured data standards for contracts, loans, and grants. The legislation establishes a two-year pilot for consolidated recipient reporting for entities receiving federal taxpayer funds, including states, localities, and universities. The legislation authorizes the Treasury Department to create a data analytics center to enable law enforcement and federal agency inspectors general to prevent improper payments. The DATA Act will improve the quality of federal spending data by requiring information to be made publically available on a single website, USASpending.gov, in a standardized, downloadable, and machine-readable format.