Today, a coalition of groups and individuals concerned with open government urged the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs to pass the DATA Act as it was originally introduced by Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Rob Portman (R-OH), calling it “an important step toward true federal spending transparency.”
The legislation would require the federal government to release more spending data and institute standards that will make it easier to report spending and track it government-wide. The DATA Act will ensure that federal spending data is complete, consistent, and easy for the public to access and analyze.
The version of the DATA Act introduced by Senators Warner and Portman was also introduced in the House by Representatives Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Elijah Cummings (D-MD), respectively the Chair and Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Their committee unanimously passed the legislation onto the full House of Representatives on May 22nd.
The legislation is due to be marked up by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs tomorrow. An amendment in the nature of a substitute that will be considered by the Committee could have significant negative impacts on the legislation, ultimately removing provisions that would help ensure the release of quality data. We will be watching the mark up tomorrow and reporting in greater detail on any changes that are made.