WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) released the following statement after S. 994, the “Digital Accountability and Transparency (DATA) Act,” passed the House and now heads to the President’s desk for signing into law:
“This is a bipartisan effort to give Americans a clearer view of federal spending and to prevent government error,” Rep. Peters said. “We all want a government that is open and transparent about how taxpayer funds are spent. It’s time to get our data reporting into the 21st century and make sure it’s uniform across the federal government. I’m glad we will engage the private sector, municipalities, and universities to hear their innovative ideas and approaches to get the best systems into place.”
The DATA Act creates common standards for reporting across agencies and increases transparency in federal spending by expanding the functionality of USAspending.gov to make it searchable and making data more easily available for download. The new, government-wide financial data standards, included as part of the bill, modernize reporting by requiring data be computer readable, open for tracking across the full cycle of program spending, and comparable between agencies, while requiring government consultation with stakeholders, state and local governments, and universities to establish best practices. Lastly, the bill reduces duplicative reporting and uses a data analysis center to prevent and reduce improper payments by federal agencies.