Today, the House will take action on the bipartisan Digital Accountability and Transparency (DATA) Act (H.R. 2061), legislation aimed at making Congress and other areas of government more open and accountable to taxpayers. This proposal is grounded in a common-sense standard: families and small businesses have to account for every dollar they spend to make ends meet, and government should be no different.
In that spirit, the DATA Act “will make federal spending data publically available and easily accessible, as well as establish government-wide financial data standards,” says Oversight & Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA). By making it easier to track exactly how and where taxpayer dollars are being spent, the bill will also facilitate efforts to cut spending and help create a better environment for job creation in America.
At a hearing held by the Oversight & Government Reform Committee, Sunlight Foundation policy counsel Daniel Schuman called the DATA Act “a revolutionary transparency measure” that will help address major shortcomings in the “consistency, completeness, and timeliness of how spending information is reported to the public.” The legislation “would dramatically improve the ability of the public to discover how their taxpayer dollars are spent,” said Angela Canterbury, Director of Public Policy at the Project On Government Oversight. And in a statement of support for the bill, Hudson Hollister, executive director of the Data Transparency Coalition, noted that the DATA Act would also “generateâ€© growth â€©andâ€© jobs â€©in highâ€techâ€©industries,” making it “a winâ€winâ€© for â€©American â€©citizens, watchdogâ€© groupsâ€© andâ€© the â€©tech â€©industry.”
From the IRS scandal earlier this year to the rolling calamity of ObamaCare, Americans are experiencing first-hand what happens when bureaucracy runs amok in Washington. The DATA Act is an important step toward fostering a smaller, less costly, and more accountable government that clears the way for stronger growth and more private-sector jobs.