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Monday
Jun132011

Issa Introduces Federal Spending Transparency Reforms

Republicans.Oversight.House.gov(WASHINGTON) -- The House of Representatives' top cop, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., introduced legislation Monday that he says will increase transparency and digitally track federal spending.

Issa, the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and a staunch government transparency advocate, explains that at a time when Americans are concerned with how their money is being spent, the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA) will provide simpler access and more awareness for the public to track government spending.

“Incompatible technologies, inaccurate data and a lack of common standards impede transparency. The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act will revolutionize the accessibility of government information,” Issa says.

To combat the tracking and transparency issue, DATA will establish a single electronic platform consisting of financial information reported by agencies and information reported by recipients.

The Federal Accountability and Spending Transparency Board (FAST Board) will permanently succeed the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board (Recovery Board) and track federal spending including grants, contracts, loans and agencies’ internal expenses.

The legislation would establish consistent standards for reporting spending data across government agencies. Lastly, the legislation will eliminate the current spending reports and databases (USAspending.gov, Recovery.gov, Consolidated Federal Funds Report) and replace them with a single platform by combining the current systems.

In November, Issa met with Vice President Joe Biden to discuss spending transparency. In a statement Monday responding to Biden’s announcement of a White House executive order on transparency in federal spending, Issa says, “We are on the same page on the goals we want to achieve.”

Issa also says that the vice president mentioned that several House and Senate leaders in both parties have a shared goal to develop a “transparent and accountable government.”

On Tuesday, Recovery Board Chairman Earl Devaney will testify before the committee at a hearing examining federal spending and potential solutions proposed in the new legislation.

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