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Bill on Updating Transparency in Federal Spending Appears in U.S. Senate

BY Nick Judd | Friday, June 17 2011

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) on Thursday introduced a Senate version of the DATA Act, legislation Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Ca.) put into play on Monday, Warner announced in a press release.

The DATA Act would establish a federal board that would be serve as a central repository for information about federal spending. It would also require federal agencies and recipients of federal funds to stick to a single set of data standards when reporting spending by the government, and call for a single web-based portal for the public to track spending — a successor to Recovery.gov, USASpending.gov, and a U.S. Census program that issues a consolidated report of federal spending.

"This legislation is an example of how Washington is supposed to work," Warner said in a press release. "It builds on the work of the Office of Management and Budget and the Recovery Board as well as the work of Chairman Issa in the House. By working together in a bipartisan way, we will create a powerful new tool that further empowers taxpayers and policymakers and changes the way the federal government does business."

Also on Monday, President Barack Obama's administration announced its own initiative: A board, to be supervised by Vice President Joe Biden and created by executive order, that would take a Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board-esque approach to tracking spending. Among other objectives, that board would have six months to develop "implementation guidelines for integrating systems that support the collection and display of Government spending data."

See also The Hill's Gautham Nagesh