Portman’s Bipartisan DATA Act Passes House, Heads to President’s Desk for Signature

Washington, D.C. – Today, bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Mark R. Warner (D-VA), the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act), unanimously passed the U.S. House of Representatives. This landmark transparency legislation reflects an agreement drafted by the bill’s sponsors from both chambers. The DATA Act is sponsored by Representatives Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Elijah Cummings (D-MD) in the House.

“During a time of record $17 trillion debt, our bipartisan bill will help identify and eliminate waste by better tracking federal spending,” Portman said. “I’m pleased that our bill to empower taxpayers to see how their money is spent and improve federal financial transparency has unanimously passed both chambers of Congress and is now headed to the President’s desk for signature.”

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.