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  • DT 2014 - The Wrap Up
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Data Transparency 2014: Progress on Policy, Spotlight on Open Data Opportunities
 
Open data will transform our government and society. The publication of government information as standardized, machine-readable data ensures accountability, enables better management tools for government leaders, and allows companies to automate compliance tasks.
 
Yet the information that will be most valuable as open data is also the most difficult to standardize and publish. The transformation of substantively complex areas, like federal spending and financial regulation, requires both policy changes and the right subject matter expertise.
 
At Data Transparency 2014, we brought together the policymakers and subject matter experts whose efforts, combined, are making these open data transformations a reality. Nearly 500 agency leaders, civil-society advocates, and tech-sector innovators gathered at the JW Marriott for the Coalition’s largest-ever event.
 
The Treasury and White House OMB executives in charge of the DATA Act, Fiscal Assistant Secretary David Lebryk and Controller Dave Mader, presented their shared vision for cohesive and collaborative implementation. Mader’s enthusiasm for data standards in federal spending, which he noted as central reason for his return to government, marks an important shift in tone for OMB. Lebryk, who first announced data transparency as a strategic goal for Treasury at Data Transparency 2013, reaffirmed that commitment.
 
On our “Oversight of the DATA Act” panel, congressional leaders and federal inspectors general promised they would be watching.
 
U.S. Comptroller General Gene Dodaro continued to express his “loud, vocal support” for the DATA Act. The federal spending data standards required by the DATA Act will help the GAO perform its vital investigations. Dodaro also assured the crowd that GAO would continue to be involved with implementation oversight. “My term goes until 2025. If we can’t get [the DATA Act] done by then, we have a big problem.”
 
The Comptroller General noted in closing that open data reforms need a legislative basis, echoing a sentiment expressed by the Sunlight Foundation’s Matt Rumsey in an earlier panel: “the DATA Act is law, but open data, more broadly, isn’t.”
 
Congress has yet to mandate the open data transformation in financial regulation. Rep. Patrick McHenry conveyed concern for the dearth of high-quality quality open data on many public companies and the need to modernize the financial regulatory disclosure system, especially at the Securities and Exchange Commission. “When the NFL provides more data on their players than the SEC does on companies, that’s troublesome.” McHenry said he argued against including an open data exemption in H.R. 5405, which the House passed last month.
 
To read more about DT 2014, please click here to read our blog.
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Rep. Patrick McHenry addresses the more than 500 attendees of DT2014. Theo Francis of the Wall Street Journal waits to lead the Q & A.


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About Us

The Data Transparency Coalition advocates on behalf of the private sector and the public interest for the publication of government information as standardized, machine-readable data. Data transparency strengthens democratic accountability, enhances government management, reduces compliance costs, and stimulates innovation.
Copyright © 2014 Data Coalition, All rights reserved.


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