Senate passes modified DATA Act, tosses it back to the House

The US Senate today passed the DATA Act (S.994). Now, don’t get all excited. Just because the Senate passed the DATA Act doesn’t mean there is actually a DATA Act.

For that to happen, the United States House of Representatives also has to pass it, and there’s no nuttier, selfish, short-sighted, back-stabbing group of 435 people outside a Game of Thrones book than those esteemed men and women elected by the People to specifically represent our interests.

Well, okay, with a nod to our British friends, the House of Commons does have 650 members of parliament and they certainly represent their own brand of wacky. But you have to admit, even with 200+ fewer representatives, the US House of Representatives certainly manages to hold its own in reprehensibility and self-interest.

All of that brings us back to the DATA Act, which is one of those bills that might actually be useful for America if not completely defanged by those we elect to do right by the American people.

The key idea of the DATA Act, as described by the Congressional Budget Office is, “to make information on federal expenditures more easily available, accessible, and transparent. The bill would require the U.S. Department of the Treasury to establish common standards for financial data provided by all government agencies and to expand the amount of data that agencies must provide to the government website, USASpending.”

In other words, it would give researchers, watchdogs, and data miners more data on US spending to mine, analyze, and thereby, at least in theory, be able to more completely hold our leaders accountable for spending.

You might have heard of the DATA Act last year as H.R.2061, the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2013. Astute readers might note two interesting designations above: the “H.R.” and the year 2013.

Read the Full Article: Source – Z D NET

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