Portman Highlights Bipartisan DATA Act During Visit with Battelle, Columbus Collaboratory, and Community Leaders in Data Analytics

Law simplifies reporting requirements by recipients of federal funds, stream-lines burdensome reporting requirements while increasing transparency

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) visited Battelle in Columbus, Ohio to discuss the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act), bipartisan legislation Portman introduced with Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) that was recently signed into law.  Portman also heard from community leaders about how Central Ohio is exploring opportunities in data analytics to drive economic growth and spur job creation.
Portman’s visit today brought together leaders from Battelle, the new Columbus Collaboratory, an advanced technology company specializing in data and analytics, and other community leaders to highlight the bill’s measures to simplify reporting requirements by recipients of federal funds, eliminate unnecessary duplication, and streamline burdensome reporting requirements while increasing transparency.  Central Ohio’s leading organizations similarity shared their vision to use Big Data in the private sector to drive IT advancement to create economic growth across the Columbus Region.
“I enjoyed the opportunity to visit Battelle today and discuss how public and private entities in the Columbus region will use the high-quality data produced by the DATA Act to help improve federal financial transparency,” said Portman. “By improving the quality of federal financial data and streamlining reporting requirements this new law will allow Ohio companies to develop and apply data analytics that will help the government and private citizens better track federal spending and better understand the federal contracting environment.  I also appreciated hearing from Columbus community leaders in data analytics on how they will be able to use the DATA Act to create new jobs and economic growth.”

“As a major government contractor and a significant contributor to Ohio’s economic vitality, we appreciate Senator Portman’s efforts to make it easier and more transparent to do business with the federal government through establishment of the DATA Act,” said Jeffrey Wadsworth, President and CEO of Battelle. “Central Ohio is establishing itself as a hub of data analytics—which translates into jobs and spurs economic growth—and we’re happy to be a vital part of this exciting opportunity.”

“We thank Senator Portman for meeting with the Columbus Collaboratory leadership and IBM and Ohio State to talk about how we will use data analytics to foster economic growth in Central Ohio and create new jobs, said Brad Ashbrook, Interim CEO, Columbus Collaboratory. “The Columbus Collaboratory is a partnership between American Electric Power, Battelle, Cardinal Health, Huntington Bank, L Brands, Nationwide, and OhioHealth, and is expected to create 100 new jobs.”
The DATA Act will allow taxpayers and lawmakers to track the dollars spent by federal agencies and more easily identify waste, fraud, and abuse in order to create a more efficient government. It expands the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act to require full disclosure of all federal agency expenditures. It does so by:
•       Making it easier to compare federal spending across federal agencies by requiring the establishment of government-wide financial data standards.
•       Strengthening federal financial transparency by reforming and significantly improving USASpending.gov, requiring frequent financial updates of spending by each federal agency on a program- and object class-level basis.
•       Improving the quality of spending data by establishing Government-wide standards that promote consistency and reliability.
•       Empowering agency IGs and the GAO to holding agencies accountable for the completeness, timeliness, quality, and accuracy of the data they submit to USASpending.gov.
•       Simplifying reporting requirements by recipients of federal funds, eliminating unnecessary duplication, and streamlining burdensome reporting requirements while increasing transparency.
A summary of the DATA Act can be read here, and the legislation can be accessed here.