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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.”
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Yesterday, the House Financial Services Committee again approved an anti-XBRL proposal, but it is not expected to become law.
When disastrous flooding destroyed over 100,000 homes in Louisiana, the Data Coalition’s Sarah Joy Hays rallied tens of thousands of dollars in relief. We are so proud to have Sarah Joy as our friend and colleague.
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.
In April, the Securities and Exchange Commission published a 341-page Concept Release exploring the future of corporate disclosure in the United States. Yesterday the Data Coalition responded. This is the Coalition’s third major appeal for the SEC to transform its disclosure system.
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.
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!
Earlier this month, the open Congress movement gained a huge endorsement from House Speaker Paul Ryan. The Speaker backed the adoption of Congressional data standards and common formats for legislative information. The House Speaker’s endorsement of the Bulk Data Task Force’s work will further efforts to make legislation, floor summaries, committee work, and the U.S. Code available as structured data. The Speaker even endorsed the technical approach of building out XML-based open data structures across Congress.
Third Annual DATA Act Summit: A critical tipping point reached, but big challenges remain to be solved in 2017
The DATA Act, the nation’s first open data law, hit two major milestones this May. Not only did it celebrate its two-year anniversary since being signed into law by President Obama on May 9th, 2014, but we are now seeing federal agencies, the White House, Congress, and the private sector embracing the law’s vision for government-wide spending transparency as a very real inevitability.
Last month, Republicans and Democrats on the House Oversight Committee asked OMB to present a new plan for contractor reporting that matches the ambitious vision of the DATA Act. With a letter to OMB, bipartisan members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee have today done the same.
On Wednesday, the Data Coalition hosted a Legislative Data Demo Day to show what’s possible when we make our laws and legislation more accessible. This past Wednesday we explored how legal and regulatory information can be reformed in order to provide maximum value to both lawmakers, and the public.
When it passed the DATA Act two years ago, Congress cited the need for the federal government to be more transparent to its people. That’s quite correct: once federal spending is published as fully-standardized, open data – instead of documents – it’ll be easier for taxpayers to understand what their government is doing. The Data Coalition and Esri will be exploring this story over breakfast on Tuesday, April 26, at 1776 Crystal City. Join us!
The Data Coalition, which represents the growing open data industry, was pleased to welcome the introduction of the Open, Public, Electronic, and Necessary (OPEN) Government Data Act by Representatives Derek Kilmer (WA-D) and Blake Farenthold (TX–R) last Thurday at a press event co-hosted with the Center for Data Innovation.