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The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (DATA Act) promises to transform the U.S. government’s finances by replacing disconnected documents with standardized and searchable data. The DATA Act requires the U.S. Treasury Department and the White House to work together to adopt government-wide data standards for the government’s spending information – everything from agencies’ financial statements to budget reports to grantee accountability to contracting databases.
Common data standards, including a government-wide recipient identifier and consistent data formats for account balances, will allow cross-agency searches and government-wide analytics for the first time. The impact of the DATA Act, if fully implemented, will go beyond democratic accountability. The law promises to create new management tools for data-driven decision-making as well. Learn how the DATA Act is creating a new era in spending transparency for the United States – if some significant challenges are overcome.
Hudson Hollister, Executive Director, Data Transparency Coalition