Issa bill would create single website for government spending data

ADVERTISEMENT
The DATA Act would require agencies to collect and submit all data on government spending directly to an independent database where the information will be accessible by Congress and members of the public looking for waste and inefficiency. 

The FAST Board would be in charge of establishing consistent reporting and data standards for all federal spending data.

The committee's release notes Issa met with Biden in November to discuss the spending transparency model used for the Recovery Act as a model for accountable government.

Biden announced the creation of a similar board on Monday as part of the White House's campaign to cut government spending.

Then-Sen. Obama and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) sponsored the 2006 legislation that mandated the creation of USASpending.gov in 2006 along with an addition that expanded the range of spending data required on the site.

The site was supposed to publish all data on federal spending including subgrants and subcontracts but has encountered multiple roadblocks, such as agencies that either don't submit their data on time or do so in incompatible formats.

The Obama administration has repeatedly touted USASpending.gov and the technology-focused subsection the IT Dashboard as evidence of their commitment to transparency despite criticism from the open government community on the quality of the available data.

The sites' futures were jeopardized by large cuts to the E-Government fund during the last round of budget negotiations.

"We can't reduce waste, fraud and abuse without knowing how, where and why federal money is flowing out the door," Obama said in 2007 upon the launch of USASpending. "This site will provide a window into the federal budget so all Americans can see how their tax dollars are being spent."

More in Technology

US, UK spies stole data to crack phones

Read more »