Yesterday afternoon, the Senate approved the Digital Accountability and Transparency (DATA) Act with a unanimous vote.
The Senate’s version of the bill will now return to the U.S. House of Representatives, where an earlier iteration passed in November 2013. Advocates expect both House passage and President Obama approval.
If passed, the Act would mandate government-wide standards for all federal spending so that data can be aggregated, reconciled and published. The result is better insight into where federal money is going, and improved waste and fraud detection—a winning situation for taxpayers, internal auditors and watchdogs alike.
The Bill’s Core Remains Intact
In the revised Senate version, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Treasury Department will jointly create the data standards to be used across all government agencies and departments. (An earlier version of the bill had this responsibility fall solely on the Treasury Department.)
Yet, the core of the bill remains the same—the entire government will be mandated to comply with new standards, data will be published publicly online and analytics will be used to hold fund recipients accountable. Because of this, the Act should swiftly pass in the House where the original version passed by a 388-1 vote.
Related DATA Act Resources
StreamLink Software has been a strong supporter of the DATA Act since its inception. For more on the history of the bill and its benefits, check out these related resources:
- The Changing Landscape of Grant Reporting
- DATA Act Could Redefine Federal Data Standards and Systems
- DATA Act Promotes Transparency, Pinpoints Fund Misuse
- Decoding the Tower of Babel: Q&A with Michael Wood
- GRIP Demonstrates Strides in Compliance Automation and Improved Grant Reporting
What are your thoughts on the legislation? Share your comments below.
Image Source: John Taylor