Author Archive


Anti-Open Data Bill Set for House Passage, Again

The Coalition has long opposed Rep. Robert Hurt's Small Company Disclosure Simplification Act (H.R. 1965), which would severely disrupt the SEC’s ability to collect open data financial statements from most public companies, and regress to only collecting the information as plain-text documents. H.R. 1965 is back on the House of Representatives' agenda. It has been included in a package bill the House is scheduled for a vote this Wednesday.


HHS DATA Act Pilot Program Promises Automated Reporting for Grantees – Maybe

Grantees and contractors must find their way through a complex landscape of hundreds of forms with thousands of data elements. Today, those forms are mostly expressed as documents. But if the federal government replaced those documents with consistently-structured data, grantees' and contractors' software could automatically compile and submit the same information. Until the DATA Act, nobody was in charge of the whole landscape of grant and contract reporting. The DATA Act changes that.


The DATA Act Doesn’t Require Big System Change. Here’s Why.

The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (DATA Act) was passed by Congress to make federal spending data more transparent and accessible - not just to citizens, but to internal users as well. The law requires the Treasury Department and the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), working together, to establish common data standards to govern financial and award information that all federal agencies must report.


Federal Government Proposes First Step Away from DUNS Number

To track its spending on contractors and grantees, the U.S. federal government uses a code that is proprietary - which means this public information can’t be shared without paying a private contractor. But yesterday, the government took a first step away from that inefficient and anti-competitive arrangement.


New Proposal: Transform U.S. Statutes at Large into Open Data

The open data transformation hasn’t made its way to the Statutes at Large yet. But yesterday, Reps. Dave Brat (R-VA) and Seth Moulton (D-MA) proposed a bill to change that. The Statutes at Large Modernization Act (H.R. 4006) directs the National Archives and Records Administration to publish an official open-data version of the Statutes at Large. The Data Transparency Coalition endorsed the Statutes at Large Modernization Act because it takes a giant step toward our ultimate goal: all U.S. legislative and regulatory materials should be open data, instead of documents.


Treasury Unveils DATA Act-Mandated Upgrade 18 Months Early

Eight years ago, as a result of the Federal Funding and Accountability Act, the United States launched a website that would forever change U.S. government transparency efforts. In 2007, commenced to provide information on federal contract and grant awards. For the first time, anyone could access a user friendly website and search for award information on federal contracts, purchase cards, grants, and loans. Last week, the Department of the Treasury unveiled an upgraded version at The phrase “Open Beta” in the new site’s URL reflects that this is a work in progress, not a finished product.


Breakfast Recap: One Agency Already Reaping DATA Act Benefits, Others’ Data Systems Still “Wild West”

Tuesday morning’s Data Transparency Breakfast introduced a standing room only crowd at PwC to front-line DATA Act implementers and provided a glimpse of the first-ever DATA Act visualization platform from a federal agency. Tim Gribben, deputy CFO at the Small Business Administration, explained how after his agency “did the DATA Act” the SBA suddenly had new insight into its own grants system.