10 Ways to Capitalize on Transparency’s Potential


Since President Obama signed the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act in May 2014, federal agencies have been hard at work implementing data standards and establishing a framework for increasing financial transparency by May 2017. The Office of Management and Budget and the Treasury Department are leading the effort.

The DATA Act requires two things. First, agencies must standardize information they report about their finances, grants and contracts, using common fields and formats established by OMB and Treasury. Second, once all the spending data has been standardized, Treasury and OMB will publish it on a much-expanded version of the USASpending.gov website. Meanwhile, a pilot program is under development to test whether the same standards should be applied to the information nonfederal grantees and contractors must report. Read More

DATA Act a Big Step Toward More Effective Government


This week the House of Representatives took a big step toward increased efficiency and transparency in government by passing the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA). The bill was passed by a unanimous vote in the Senate last month and now awaits White House approval. DATA aims to make more than $3 trillion in federal spending transparent to the public along with streamlining the monitoring and reporting process for recipients of federal funds. The bill would authorize a state-of-the-art data analysis center along with a pilot program that would consolidate reporting across agencies and programs. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) is a strong supporter of the bill and believes it will help improve government credibility in the eyes of the American people. “The DATA Act will give the American people the ability to track how we spend their tax dollars,” Issa said. Read More