May 19, 2016
Data Coalition News
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The latest:
  • Senate HSGA Committee to Vote on OPEN Government Data Act
  • Data Coalition Celebrates Legislative Data on Capitol Hill
  • Bipartisan Senators to OMB: Where is the Contractor Pilot Program?
  • Open CRS Fails in House Appropriations Committee 
  • IBM Joins the Data Coalition!

Senate HSGA Committee to Vote on OPEN Government Data Act

Less than a month after its introduction, the OPEN Government Data Act (S. 2852) is on its way to committee consideration in the Senate. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has announced it will vote on the sweeping open data proposal on Wednesday, May 25th.
The OPEN Government Data Act will require every agency to use open, machine-readable data standards for its information. This provision will make the use of proprietary standards, such as the DUNS Number, legally questionable. The bill also requires every agency to publish an inventory of its data assets to prioritize the most valuable information to be transformed into open data.
Championed by Reps. Derek Kilmer (D-WA) and Blake Farenthold (R-TX) in the House and Sens. Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Ben Sasse (R-NE) in the Senate, the OPEN Government Data Act promises to improve both public transparency outside government and management within government by making open data the default for all government information.
View the HSGA Committee's agenda here.

View our new OPEN Government Data Act web page here

Data Coalition Celebrates Legislative Data Proposal on Capitol Hill

On May 11 the Data Coalition hosted a Legislative Data Demo Day to show what’s possible when we make our laws and legislation more accessible.

Across all of our policy initiatives, the Data Coalition encourages federal and state governments to create or collect data in machine-readable structures using non-proprietary formats. At Legislative Data Demo Day we explored how legal and regulatory information can be reformed in order to provide maximum value to both lawmakers, and the public.

We need to transform laws and regulations into searchable, usable data…the Statutes at Large Modernization Act (HR 4006) does just that.

Congress is poised to transform its legislative information from outdated documents into open, searchable data. If the House and Senate finally adopt a consistent data format for all bills, amendments, passed laws, and legal compilations, then new software could bring greater transparency and more efficient lawmaking. It’s for these reasons that the Data Coalition offers an earnest endorsement of Statutes at Large Modernization Act (SALMA – HR 4006), a bipartisan bill introduced by Reps. Dave Brat (VA-7-R) and Seth Moulton (MA-6-D).

Continue reading the Coalition blog post here.

Bipartisan Senators to OMB: Where is the Contractor Pilot Program?

Section 5 of the DATA Act is based on an ambitious vision for transforming federal grantee and contractor reporting. Today, recipients of grants and contracts have to report their use of federal funds using document-based forms, and have to submit their information – often, the same information – to multiple systems all over the government.

The DATA Act requires the White House OMB to test this vision of standardized data fields in grantee and contractor reporting. OMB has appointed the Department of Health and Human Services to run the grantee side. HHS has designed a robust pilot program, identified thousands of data fields, and invited grantees to submit their reports using standardized data instead of old-fashioned documents.

However, on the contractor side, OMB is not following the law. There is no entity clearly in charge of a contractor reporting pilot program. OMB’s efforts to standardize contractor payroll reporting – but no other aspects of contractor reporting – do not match the law’s required scope.

On Monday, four senators asked OMB to fix this.

Read the full letter here

Continue reading the Coalition blog post here.
Open CRS Fails in House Appropriations Committee 
Yesterday the House Appropriations Committee voted 32-18 against an amendment by Reps. Mike Quigley (IL-5) and Rep. Scott Rigell (VA-2) that would have allowed all major, non-confidential research reports prepared by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) (a division of the Library of Congress) to be publicly cataloged by the Government Printing Office. We explain the rationale for endorsing this measure in our previous blog post (see the bill version HR 4702 here).

We would like to thank our friend Daniel Schuman of Demand Progress for his tireless efforts on this front (see his full recap here). And for more info see this article by HuffPo's Matt Fuller.

GovLoop: Next Steps for the DATA Act

This item was first published by Sonia Chakrabarty in GovLoop on May 17.

The road to open federal spending data has been a long one. In May 2014, President Obama signed the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act), which requires the Department of the Treasury and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to standardize and publish U.S. spending data. In May 2015, Treasury and OMB started releasing data standards.

And progress is still being made. On April 29, Treasury released the final version of the DATA Act Information Model Schema v1.0, and on May 3, OMB produced new guidance for the Act. GovLoop talked to Hudson Hollister, Executive Director at the Data Coalition, about what these new documents mean as well as about the upcoming DATA Act Summit on May 26 in Washington, DC.

Hollister said OMB’s new guidance provides agencies with all the information they need to transform their spending information into open data. This includes the technical details about formatting their information as well as a deadline. By May 9, 2017, all federal agencies have to report their spending information using the new data format, creating the “largest and most valuable open dataset in the world,” according to Hollister.

Continue reading the GovLoop article here.

IBM Joins the Data Coalition!
We're excited to announce that IBM has just joined the Coalition as a Regular Member! IBM offers proven strategies and technology solutions for successful public governance.

IBM becomes the Data Coalition's 33rd corporate member. The Coalition's members make it possible for us to wage a powerful campaign to transform the federal government's information into open data.

WATCH: Hudson Hollister on Government Matters

Two years ago, President Obama signed the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act into law. It's designed to make federal spending data more accessible, more searchable, and more consistent -- launching a new era of data-driven government.

The Treasury Department and the Office of Management and Budget are leading implementation, but it's a heavy lift.

Hudson Hollister, executive director at the Data Coalition, offered a DATA Act progress report on Government Matters.

Watch the full interview here


May 26: DATA Act Summit - Free for government employees!

Join the Data Coalition for the third annual DATA Act Summit in Washington, which will bring together DATA Act Congressional supporters, state and federal agencies, and advocacy groups.

Speakers include: Sen. Mark Warner, Reps. Darrell Issa and Mark Meadows, Dave Mader, OMB Controller, David Lebryk, Fiscal Assistant Secretary, Treasury Department, and more! View all confirmed speakers here.

To register, click here.

Thursday, May 26 2016, 7:30am-5:30pm 
Washington Hilton - 1919 Connecticut Avenue Northwest, Washington, DC 20009  
Senators to OMB: Get Cracking on Effort to Standardize Spending Data
The DATA Act Turns 2

Data Coalition Members

Research Data Group
RR Donnelley

Booz Allen Hamilton
MorganFranklin Consulting
StreamLink Software

BackOffice Associates
Center for Organizational Excellence
CGI Federal
Elder Research
Global IDs
Grant Thornton
Information Builders
IRIS Business Services
Merrill Corporation
PR Newswire

BCL Technologies
Gov-PATH Solutions

Trade Association
Object Management Group 


About Us

The Data Coalition advocates on behalf of the private sector and the public interest for the publication of government information as standardized, open data.
Copyright © 2016 Data Coalition, All rights reserved.

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