Tuesday, April 29, 2014

DATA Act, Part 4: Unanimous House passage

by: Cindy MacPherson, Analyst;

Yesterday, the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act) was unanimously passed in the first vote of the U.S. House of Representatives’ 2014 Spring Session. This follows unanimous passage by the Senate earlier this month, and now the landmark legislation is on its way to President Barack Obama.

According to E Pluribus Unum, “an administration official at the White House Office of Management and Budget confirmed that [the President] will sign the bill into law.” This is expected, as the mandate this legislation puts into law is consistent with the Administration’s Open Government Policy. You can read more from Alexander Howard’s article here.

Congressional leaders applauded the bipartisan, bicameral passage of this bill:

From Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), House co-sponsor, yesterday: "Agencies usually do not and cannot tell us how much taxpayer money has been spent on any given program. The American people deserve to know if their taxpayer dollars are being wasted or whether they are being spent wisely."

Senate co-sponsor Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) released a statement, saying, “In the digital age, we should be able to search online to see how every grant, contract and disbursement is spent in a more connected and transparent way through the federal government.”

He continued, adding, “Independent watchdogs and transparency advocates have endorsed the DATA Act’s move toward greater transparency and open data. Our taxpayers deserve to see clear, accessible information about government spending, and this accountability will highlight and help us eliminate waste and fraud.”

If you would like to read more about how we arrived here, you can find more here in this series on the DATA Act:
  • Part 1What is the DATA Act? Is there a need for change? How much would it cost?
  • Part 1b: White House OMB comments and suggested edits; DATA Act leadership response.
  • Part 2Will it improve government reporting? How might XBRL be involved?
  • Part 3: The U.S. Senate unanimously passes the DATA Act.