For years now we have heard from our constituents saying that we need to make Washington more transparent; that we need to make sure we hold our elected officials and our government agencies accountable to the American people and the American taxpayers.
Last week, the House unanimously passed the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act), in an effort to change the business as usual status quo of Washington. The American people have right to know how their hard earned tax dollars are being spent. In the wake of recent scandals like the GSA conference in Las Vegas, where we saw profligate and brash spending, this bill could not be timelier. While America's economy continues to struggle and the United States continues to pile up massive debts and deficits, taxpayers have been left mostly in the dark when it comes to government spending.
The DATA Act will require federal agencies to report all of their spending activity on a newly created, centralized website. It will also establish reporting standards by which all of the federal agencies must follow. By establishing these new regulations across all federal agencies, and a centralized website, the DATA Act gives the American people a one-stop-shop to monitor federal spending. It also requires all government contractors, subcontractors, and those who receive federal grant money to report how they are spending their federal dollars.
Under the provisions of the DATA Act, each and every taxpayer will have the ability to be a government spending watchdog. It will transform the way Americans monitor how public money is being spent, and will enable citizens with the ability to call out their elected officials on what they believe to be wasteful spending.
This is exactly the kind of transparency Americans have called for, and it is the type of transparency Americans deserve. By being able to monitor, and follow government spending, Americans will be able to hold their representatives and their government accountable. It is time for the government to take a long look at how we spend your money, and with each American serving as a watchdog for government excess and waste, we will become more prudent with where each tax dollar goes.
Member of Congress