Bipartisan legislation to improve online tracking of federal spending easily cleared a Senate panel Wednesday.
The Data Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA), would make federal spending data “more readily available to the public and [establish] stronger standards for how such spending is reported,” said Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which unanimously approved the bill on a voice vote.
The measure, sponsored by Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, now goes to the full Senate. According to Warner’s office, the legislation would:
■ Expand the website USASpending.gov to include data for all federal funds by appropriation, agency, sub-agency, account, program activity and object class.
■ Require the Treasury Department to set financial data standards to provide a single government-wide framework. Agency inspectors general would also have to report on the quality and accuracy of information furnished to USASpending.gov.
■ Have the Office of Management and Budget review — and possibly reduce — reporting requirements for recipients of federal funds.
A similar bill passed the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in May and is awaiting action by the full House.