DATA Act headed to president’s desk for consideration

The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act) will head to President Obama for consideration following its approval on Monday by the House of Representatives.

That DATA Act is co-sponsored by Rep. Darrel Issa (R-Calif.) in the House and by Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) in the Senate.

The measure is modeled after the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, which was established under the stimulus spending bill to standardize requirements for reporting and publishing spending information to promote transparency.

The DATA Act would establish the same standards government wide for contracts, loans and grants.

“(Monday’s) passage of the DATA Act is a victory for taxpayers,” Issa, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said. “Addressing rampant waste and fraud in government starts with making publicly accessible, structured information available online for everyone – taxpayers and watchdogs alike. I applaud my House colleagues’ bipartisan action today to reform and improve spending transparency. The DATA Act is a win for good government, moving the federal bureaucracy into the digital age and setting the stage for real accountability.”

The bill would establish a two-year pilot for consolidated reporting by entities that receive federal taxpayer dollars, including states, local governments and universities.

“During a time of record $17 trillion debt, our bipartisan bill will help identify and eliminate waste by better tracking federal spending,” Portman, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, said. “I’m pleased that our bill to empower taxpayers to see how their money is spent and improve federal financial transparency has unanimously passed both chambers of Congress and is now headed to the president’s desk for signature.”

Under the bill, the Treasury Department would be authorized to establish a data analytics center to help law enforcement and federal inspectors general prevent improper payments.

The measure would also require that all federal spending data be publically available on a single website,