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Public Statements

Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. NORTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I am pleased to rise in support of H.R. 2061, the DATA Act, and I am pleased to work with the chairman as we continue to reconcile this bill with the Senate bill.

The DATA Act will provide the public with information about how the government is spending its money. This will hold agencies accountable for their spending, and it will result in a more effective and efficient government.

The President emphasized the importance of access to data when he issued an executive order on May 9, 2013, that requires government information to be released in ways that make it easy to find and use. The DATA Act would require government spending data to meet those same requirements through data standards issued by the Office of Management and Budget.

The bill also requires that spending data be available through a single Web site.

H.R. 2061 authorizes, in addition, the Recovery Act Board through the year 2017, and requires the Recovery Board to conduct a pilot project involving direct reporting of spending information from recipients of Federal money.

There are a couple of issues that I hope will be resolved as the bill moves forward to the Senate. During the committee markup of this bill, Ranking Member Elijah Cummings requested that the bill be amended to address two specific concerns.

One of those concerns was the need to ensure that stakeholders have an opportunity to provide feedback before OMB decides whether to extend the pilot project on recipient reporting.

The other issue was the need to ensure that OMB has the option to extend all the requirements under the pilot project, or just some of the requirements, if the Director determines that is the best course.

Just as the chairman led H.R. 2061 through our committee on a bipartisan basis, I am hopeful that Chairman Issa will work on the same basis to address these outstanding issues.

This, however, is a good bill, Mr. Speaker; and I urge my colleagues to support this legislation.

I reserve the balance of my time.

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