Oversight Committee Approves Federal Spending Transparency Bill

June 22, 2011

WASHINGTON- H.R. 2146, The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, was approved the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on a unanimous bi-partisan voice vote today at a business meeting of the Committee.

The Committee unanimously adopted an amendment in the nature of a substitute offered by Issa. The text is available here. The changes made by the Issa amendment incorporate changes suggested by transparency groups, the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, and the minority members of the Committee. Chairman Issa’s amendment also incorporates a provision previously introduced by Ranking Member Elijah Cummings, which will strengthen the authority of the Government Accountability Office to access agency records.

Chairman Issa accepted an amendment from Rep. Mike Quigley, D-IL., which would require the Federal Accountability and Spending Transparency (FAST) Board created by the DATA Act to report on procedures necessary to collect and report tax expenditure data, and the potential effects of doing so. Chairman Issa also accepted an amendment from Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., asking the FAST Board to prioritize review of no-bid, sole-source contracts. Several other democrats on the Committee, including Ranking Member Cummings, offered amendments but withdrew them as Chairman Issa pledged to work with them to address their shared concerns and incorporate their ideas before the legislation went to the floor.

After the hearing, the Committee released letters of support for the DATA Act from over a dozen organizations.

The Committee also approved H.R. 1974, the Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act, introduced by Rep. Mike Quigley, D-IL., which will require federal agencies to submit all Congressionally mandated reports to the Government Printing Office (GPO) to make them publically available online. The GPO had indicated they will be able to do this at no additional taxpayer cost.

The Committee also approved H.R. 2061, the Civilian Service Recognition Act of 2011,which authorizes the presentation of a United States flag to the families of federal civilian employees who lose their lives while performing official duties, or because of their status as a federal employee. The bill was introduced by Rep. Richard Hanna, R-NY, and Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-NY. Chairman Issa offered an amendment which made several technical changes to aid in the implementation of the act.

Additional Items Passed at Today’s Markup

  • Activity Report of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform;
  • H.R. 789, a bill to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 20 Main Street in Little Ferry, New Jersey, as the “Sergeant Matthew J. Fenton Post Office”;
  • H.R. 1843, a bill to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 489 Army Drive in Barrigada, Guam, as the “John Pangelinan Gerber Post Office Building”;
  • H.R. 1975, a bill to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 281 East Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena, California, as the “First Lieutenant Oliver Goodall Post Office Building”;
  • H.R. 2062, a bill to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 45 Meetinghouse Lane in Sagamore Beach, Massachusetts, as the “Matthew A. Pucino Post Office”;
  • H.R. 2149, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 4354 Pahoa Avenue in Honolulu, Hawaii, as the “Cecil L. Heftel Post Office Building.”
  • H.R. 2213, a bill to designate the fac ility of the United States Postal Service located at 801 West Eastport Street in Luka, Mississippi , as the “Sergeant Jason W. Vaughn Post Office” .
  • H.R. 2244, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 67 Castle Street in Geneva, New York, as the ”Corporal Steven Blaine Riccione Post Office.”

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