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Tag Archive: OMB

Senate Committee Marks Up DATA Act, Clearing Way For Further Action


Credit Cards FlickrYesterday morning, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs considered and passed the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act) on a voice vote. The original legislation, introduced by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Mark Warner (D-VA), was replaced by an amendment in the nature of a substitute co-introduced by a number of committee members, including Senator Portman, and passed unanimously. The amended legislation retains the soul of the original bill, which aims to standardize and open federal spending data, while making some concerning changes. Specifically, the Senate's new version scraps strong accountability mechanisms in an effort to keep costs down and fails to solve some governance problems that have long limited accurate federal spending data.

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How Unique is the New U.S. Open Data Policy?

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The White House’s new Executive Order may be significantly different than the open data policies that have come before it on the federal level, but where does it stand in a global -- and local -- context? Many folks have already jumped at the chance to compare this new US executive order and the new policies that accompany it to a similar public letter issued by UK Prime Minister David Cameron in 2010, but little attention has been paid to one of the new policy’s most substantial provisions: the creation of a public listing of agency data based on an internal audits of information holdings. As administrative as this provision might sound, the creation of this listing (and the accompanying scoping of what information isn’t yet public, but could be released) is part of the next evolution of open data policies (and something Sunlight has long called for as a best practice). So does this policy put the U.S. on the leading edge?

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