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DATA bill passes Senate committee

Nov. 6, 2013 - 09:26PM   |  
By SEAN REILLY   |   Comments

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.

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