The following is being released by the Data Transparency Coalition:
President Barack Obama signed the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act into law today. Known as the DATA Act, the federal spending transparency legislation is widely regarded as the nation’s first “open data” law. The DATA Act, which mandates the standardization of federal spending information and its publication as machine-readable open data, was first introduced in 2011.
“It’s no secret that political rhetoric too often diverges from reality, but there’s no truer testament to a government’s priorities than how it spends money,” said Hudson Hollister, the Executive Director of the Data Transparency Coalition. “The DATA Act will unlock a new public resource that innovators, watchdogs, and citizens can mine for valuable and unprecedented insight into federal spending. America’s tech sector already has the tools to deliver reliable, standardized, open data. Today’s historic victory will put our nation’s open data pioneers to work for the common good.”
The DATA Act’s enactment has been the Data Transparency Coalition’s highest legislative priority since its founding in February 2012. The new law provides a legislative mandate for many goals contained in President Obama’s Open Data Policy, which was issued one year ago today. For example, the Open Data Policy encourages agencies to standardize and publish their procurement and assistance information as machine-readable data. Comptroller General Gene Dodaro testified before Congress last month that the DATA Act’s passage was necessary to secure the President’s goals.
The DATA Act (S. 994) passed the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously on April 28, 2014, after securing unanimous consent from the U.S. Senate on April 10, 2014. Three of the main legislative sponsors — Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) — gathered with administration officials, business leaders and open data advocates to celebrate the DATA Act’s passage through Congress on April 29, 2014, at the Data Transparency Summit. During the Summit, the White House confirmed to press that the President intended to sign the bill.