The United Staes House of Representatives has just passed what they are calling the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA). The bill features an independent board who will oversee and and receive reports on all government spending. Currently the government has the technology to track spending, and this bill will force agencies to be more accountable to taxpayers.
The Sunlight Foundation blog commented on DATA:
“The legislation reflects and has shaped the growing understanding on Capitol Hill that technology-mediated government transparency is an area of bipartisan agreement where real progress can be made.”
“The DATA Act, if fully implemented, could transform government spending accountability.”
Before we can expect to see any progress made by the act, it must also be approved by the US Senate, then reviewed and signed the the US President. Hopefully this will happen in a timely fashion as taxpayers are currently the victims of reckless government spending and careless investments. A great example from current events would be the General Service Administration’s (GAS) lavish $800,000 Los Vegas party (sorry, I meant conference) on the taxpayer’s dime.
Here’s how the govtrack website describes the bill:
Requires each person, state, local, or tribal government, or any government corporation (recipient) that receives appropriated funds, either directly or through a subgrant or subcontract at any tier, to report at least once quarterly each receipt and use of such funds to the Federal Accountability and Spending Transparency Board established by this Act.
Representative Carolyn Maloney, a New York Democrat, commented on the DATA bill:
“This is designed to save money,”
So, I guess it’s safe to assume that our representatives, and other groups funded by our tax dollars are like children. If we don’t make them disclose their spending behavior, we can’t keep them on a track of financial well-being. This is something that should be of great interest to taxpayers. Too often our elected officials have been allowed to abuse public funds for personal gain.
We’ll be watching the progression of this House bill closely. Check back regularly to hear more about the DATA bill and how it can help protect the American payers, from what many consider fraud, by our elected officials.