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Open Data on Groundhog Day: Policy Reforms Bring Tech Change … Slowly

Last week, on Feb. 2, leaders from 22 tech companies fanned out across Capitol Hill. We crossed from Senate office buildings to House, and back again. We sat down with eight members of Congress and nine groups of staffers. We walked nearly ten miles. We ended our fourteen-hour day with a well-deserved beer. To enact our wonky agenda and realize our ambitious vision, we may have to invest many more Groundhog Days. But that’s okay. With each year of the same Capitol Hill treks and similar policy chats, real change is happening.

Open Data in the Age of Trump

FROM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR HUDSON HOLLISTER: “We call on the new Trump Administration and the 115th Congress to enforce (and expand) the DATA Act, embrace a government-wide transformation of all information resources through the OPEN Government Data Act, and initiate regulatory reforms that use open data to reduce burdens, governed by the Financial Transparency Act and other reforms. I am optimistic that we will realize all three goals.”

A Year in Review: The Data Coalition in 2016

It’s been a busy year for the world’s only open data trade association! We started a new sister organization, welcomed nearly two thousand people to our events, testified before Congress, and celebrated the Senate’s passage of landmark legislation. Our members made all this possible.

Standard Business Reporting: Open Data to Cut Compliance Costs

Standard Business Reporting programs are in place in the Netherlands and Australia. SBR applies open data to regulation by adopting consistent data standards across multiple agencies’ reporting requirements. SBR can reduce compliance costs while avoiding political battles over the substance of what companies are required to report to regulatory agencies. The 115th Congress and the Trump Administration should take notice.

Inspectors General Evaluate Their Agencies: Spotty Progress on DATA Act (updated on 02/27)

The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (DATA Act) requires every federal agency to begin reporting its spending information using a standardized data structure, starting in May 2017. This is a major change: for the first time, federal spending information will be available as a single, searchable data set, rather than a mishmash of disconnected documents and incompatible databases.

Center for Open Data Enterprise’s Transition Report: Open Data will be Business as Usual

Today the Center for Open Data Enterprise has released its Transition Report, with recommendations for the next presidential administration’s first steps on open data. The Transition Report is the first time anyone has managed to capture all of the promise of open data to improve our government and society. Since these opportunities are as broad as government itself, creating the Transition Report was a major challenge and is an impressive accomplishment.

Guest Blog Post: Why the DATA Act’s New Data Standards Matter

Data standards in federal spending are no small task – given the complexity of federal appropriations and the multitude of spending by agency programs currently tracked through legacy systems that have been built over the past 25 years. Simply agreeing on terminology for terms used across contracts, grants, and loans is a significant step forward. But under the DATA Act, the federal government has done exactly that.

Nine Months to Reporting Deadline, GAO Finds Two Big DATA Act Challenges

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released two reports assessing the federal government’s work on the DATA Act. Nine months from now, in May 2017, every federal agency must begin reporting standardized spending data. If the agencies follow the law, and if they report good, quality data, they’ll create the world’s most valuable open data set: a single, standardized view of the spending of the entire federal executive branch.

Automatic Redlining for Legislation? Rep. Elise Stefanik Wants to Make it Happen

Rep. Stefanik, joined by Luke Messer (D-IN) introduced the Establishing Digital Interactive Transparency Act (EDIT Act) (H.R. 5493) on June 14th, 2016. The bill is currently pending in the House of Representatives’ Committee on House Administration. When this bill is signed into law, the Library of Congress would be charged with implementation and would have one year to comply.

DATA Act Beta Site Gets a Revamp

Last month, Treasury DATA Act Product Manager Kaitlin Devine announced the release of the second iteration of OpenBeta.USAspending.gov at the Coalition’s DATA Act Summit. The site will eventually host all DATA Act mandated data sets, though no new data sets have been published there yet. Version 2 is now live for everybody to explore!