DIGITAL ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY ACT OF 2014
(House of Representatives - April 28, 2014)

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[Pages H3203-H3207]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




          DIGITAL ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY ACT OF 2014

  Mr. ISSA. Madam Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the 
bill (S. 994) to expand the Federal Funding Accountability and 
Transparency Act of 2006 to increase accountability and transparency in 
Federal spending, and for other purposes.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                                 S. 994

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Digital Accountability and 
     Transparency Act of 2014'' or the ``DATA Act''.

     SEC. 2. PURPOSES.

       The purposes of this Act are to--
       (1) expand the Federal Funding Accountability and 
     Transparency Act of 2006 (31 U.S.C. 6101 note) by disclosing 
     direct Federal agency expenditures and linking Federal 
     contract, loan, and grant spending information to programs of 
     Federal agencies to enable taxpayers and policy makers to 
     track Federal spending more effectively;
       (2) establish Government-wide data standards for financial 
     data and provide consistent, reliable, and searchable 
     Government-wide spending data that is displayed accurately 
     for taxpayers and policy makers on USASpending.gov (or a 
     successor system that displays the data);
       (3) simplify reporting for entities receiving Federal funds 
     by streamlining reporting requirements and reducing 
     compliance costs while improving transparency;
       (4) improve the quality of data submitted to 
     USASpending.gov by holding Federal agencies accountable for 
     the completeness and accuracy of the data submitted; and
       (5) apply approaches developed by the Recovery 
     Accountability and Transparency Board to spending across the 
     Federal Government.

     SEC. 3. AMENDMENTS TO THE FEDERAL FUNDING ACCOUNTABILITY AND 
                   TRANSPARENCY ACT OF 2006.

       The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 
     2006 (31 U.S.C. 6101 note) is amended--
       (1) in section 2--
       (A) in subsection (a)--
       (i) in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by striking 
     ``this section'' and inserting ``this Act'';
       (ii) by redesignating paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) as 
     paragraphs (2), (4), and (7), respectively;
       (iii) by inserting before paragraph (2), as so 
     redesignated, the following:
       ``(1) Director.--The term `Director' means the Director of 
     the Office of Management and Budget.'';
       (iv) by inserting after paragraph (2), as so redesignated, 
     the following:
       ``(3) Federal agency.--The term `Federal agency' has the 
     meaning given the term `Executive agency' under section 105 
     of title 5, United States Code.'';
       (v) by inserting after paragraph (4), as so redesignated, 
     the following:
       ``(5) Object class.--The term `object class' means the 
     category assigned for purposes of the annual budget of the 
     President submitted under section 1105(a) of title 31, United 
     States Code, to the type of property or services purchased by 
     the Federal Government.
       ``(6) Program activity.--The term `program activity' has 
     the meaning given that term under section 1115(h) of title 
     31, United States Code.''; and
       (vi) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(8) Secretary.--The term `Secretary' means the Secretary 
     of the Treasury.'';
       (B) in subsection (b)--
       (i) in paragraph (3), by striking ``of the Office of 
     Management and Budget''; and
       (ii) in paragraph (4), by striking ``of the Office of 
     Management and Budget'';
       (C) in subsection (c)--
       (i) in paragraph (4), by striking ``and'' at the end;
       (ii) in paragraph (5), by striking the period at the end 
     and inserting a semicolon; and
       (iii) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(6) shall have the ability to aggregate data for the 
     categories described in paragraphs (1) through (5) without 
     double-counting data; and
       ``(7) shall ensure that all information published under 
     this section is available--
       ``(A) in machine-readable and open formats;
       ``(B) to be downloaded in bulk; and
       ``(C) to the extent practicable, for automated 
     processing.'';
       (D) in subsection (d)--
       (i) in paragraph (1)(A), by striking ``of the Office of 
     Management and Budget'';
       (ii) in paragraph (2)--

       (I) in subparagraph (A), by striking ``of the Office of 
     Management and Budget''; and
       (II) in subparagraph (B), by striking ``of the Office of 
     Management and Budget'';

       (E) in subsection (e), by striking ``of the Office of 
     Management and Budget''; and
       (F) in subsection (g)--
       (i) in paragraph (1), by striking ``of the Office of 
     Management and Budget''; and
       (ii) in paragraph (3), by striking ``of the Office of 
     Management and Budget''; and
       (2) by striking sections 3 and 4 and inserting the 
     following:

     ``SEC. 3. FULL DISCLOSURE OF FEDERAL FUNDS.

       ``(a) In General.--Not later than 3 years after the date of 
     enactment of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act 
     of 2014, and monthly when practicable but not less than 
     quarterly thereafter, the Secretary, in consultation with the 
     Director, shall ensure that the information in subsection (b) 
     is posted on the website established under section 2.
       ``(b) Information To Be Posted.--For any funds made 
     available to or expended by a Federal agency or component of 
     a Federal agency, the information to be posted shall 
     include--
       ``(1) for each appropriations account, including an expired 
     or unexpired appropriations account, the amount--
       ``(A) of budget authority appropriated;
       ``(B) that is obligated;
       ``(C) of unobligated balances; and
       ``(D) of any other budgetary resources;
       ``(2) from which accounts and in what amount--
       ``(A) appropriations are obligated for each program 
     activity; and
       ``(B) outlays are made for each program activity;
       ``(3) from which accounts and in what amount--
       ``(A) appropriations are obligated for each object class; 
     and
       ``(B) outlays are made for each object class; and
       ``(4) for each program activity, the amount--
       ``(A) obligated for each object class; and
       ``(B) of outlays made for each object class.

     ``SEC. 4. DATA STANDARDS.

       ``(a) In General.--
       ``(1) Establishment of standards.--The Secretary and the 
     Director, in consultation with the heads of Federal agencies, 
     shall establish Government-wide financial data standards for 
     any Federal funds made available to or expended by Federal 
     agencies and entities receiving Federal funds.
       ``(2) Data elements.--The financial data standards 
     established under paragraph (1) shall include common data 
     elements for financial and payment information required to be 
     reported by Federal agencies and entities receiving Federal 
     funds.
       ``(b) Requirements.--The data standards established under 
     subsection (a) shall, to the extent reasonable and 
     practicable--
       ``(1) incorporate widely accepted common data elements, 
     such as those developed and maintained by--
       ``(A) an international voluntary consensus standards body;
       ``(B) Federal agencies with authority over contracting and 
     financial assistance; and
       ``(C) accounting standards organizations;
       ``(2) incorporate a widely accepted, nonproprietary, 
     searchable, platform-independent computer-readable format;
       ``(3) include unique identifiers for Federal awards and 
     entities receiving Federal awards that can be consistently 
     applied Government-wide;
       ``(4) be consistent with and implement applicable 
     accounting principles;
       ``(5) be capable of being continually upgraded as 
     necessary;
       ``(6) produce consistent and comparable data, including 
     across program activities; and
       ``(7) establish a standard method of conveying the 
     reporting period, reporting entity, unit of measure, and 
     other associated attributes.
       ``(c) Deadlines.--

[[Page H3204]]

       ``(1) Guidance.--Not later than 1 year after the date of 
     enactment of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act 
     of 2014, the Director and the Secretary shall issue guidance 
     to Federal agencies on the data standards established under 
     subsection (a).
       ``(2) Agencies.--
       ``(A) In general.--Except as provided in subparagraph (B), 
     not later than 2 years after the date on which the guidance 
     under paragraph (1) is issued, each Federal agency shall 
     report financial and payment information data in accordance 
     with the data standards established under subsection (a).
       ``(B) Noninterference with auditability of department of 
     defense financial statements.--
       ``(i) In general.--Upon request by the Secretary of 
     Defense, the Director may grant an extension of the deadline 
     under subparagraph (A) to the Department of Defense for a 
     period of not more than 6 months to report financial and 
     payment information data in accordance with the data 
     standards established under subsection (a).
       ``(ii) Limitation.--The Director may not grant more than 3 
     extensions to the Secretary of Defense under clause (i).
       ``(iii) Notification.--The Director of the Office of 
     Management and Budget shall notify the Committee on Homeland 
     Security and Governmental Affairs and the Committee on Armed 
     Services of the Senate and the Committee on Oversight and 
     Government Reform and the Committee on Armed Services of the 
     House of Representatives of--

       ``(I) each grant of an extension under clause (i); and
       ``(II) the reasons for granting such an extension.

       ``(3) Website.--Not later than 3 years after the date on 
     which the guidance under paragraph (1) is issued, the 
     Director and the Secretary shall ensure that the data 
     standards established under subsection (a) are applied to the 
     data made available on the website established under section 
     2.
       ``(d) Consultation.--The Director and the Secretary shall 
     consult with public and private stakeholders in establishing 
     data standards under this section.

     ``SEC. 5. SIMPLIFYING FEDERAL AWARD REPORTING.

       ``(a) In General.--The Director, in consultation with 
     relevant Federal agencies, recipients of Federal awards, 
     including State and local governments, and institutions of 
     higher education (as defined in section 102 of the Higher 
     Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1002)), shall review the 
     information required to be reported by recipients of Federal 
     awards to identify--
       ``(1) common reporting elements across the Federal 
     Government;
       ``(2) unnecessary duplication in financial reporting; and
       ``(3) unnecessarily burdensome reporting requirements for 
     recipients of Federal awards.
       ``(b) Pilot Program.--
       ``(1) Establishment.--Not later than 1 year after the date 
     of enactment of the Digital Accountability and Transparency 
     Act of 2014, the Director, or a Federal agency designated by 
     the Director, shall establish a pilot program (in this 
     section referred to as the `pilot program') with the 
     participation of appropriate Federal agencies to facilitate 
     the development of recommendations for--
       ``(A) standardized reporting elements across the Federal 
     Government;
       ``(B) the elimination of unnecessary duplication in 
     financial reporting; and
       ``(C) the reduction of compliance costs for recipients of 
     Federal awards.
       ``(2) Requirements.--The pilot program shall--
       ``(A) include a combination of Federal contracts, grants, 
     and subawards, the aggregate value of which is not less than 
     $1,000,000,000 and not more than $2,000,000,000;
       ``(B) include a diverse group of recipients of Federal 
     awards; and
       ``(C) to the extent practicable, include recipients who 
     receive Federal awards from multiple programs across multiple 
     agencies.
       ``(3) Data collection.--The pilot program shall include 
     data collected during a 12-month reporting cycle.
       ``(4) Reporting and evaluation requirements.--Each 
     recipient of a Federal award participating in the pilot 
     program shall submit to the Office of Management and Budget 
     or the Federal agency designated under paragraph (1), as 
     appropriate, any requested reports of the selected Federal 
     awards.
       ``(5) Termination.--The pilot program shall terminate on 
     the date that is 2 years after the date on which the pilot 
     program is established.
       ``(6) Report to congress.--Not later than 90 days after the 
     date on which the pilot program terminates under paragraph 
     (5), the Director shall submit to the Committee on Homeland 
     Security and Governmental Affairs and the Committee on the 
     Budget of the Senate and the Committee on Oversight and 
     Government Reform and the Committee on the Budget of the 
     House of Representatives a report on the pilot program, which 
     shall include--
       ``(A) a description of the data collected under the pilot 
     program, the usefulness of the data provided, and the cost to 
     collect the data from recipients; and
       ``(B) a discussion of any legislative action required and 
     recommendations for--
       ``(i) consolidating aspects of Federal financial reporting 
     to reduce the costs to recipients of Federal awards;
       ``(ii) automating aspects of Federal financial reporting to 
     increase efficiency and reduce the costs to recipients of 
     Federal awards;
       ``(iii) simplifying the reporting requirements for 
     recipients of Federal awards; and
       ``(iv) improving financial transparency.
       ``(7) Government-wide implementation.--Not later than 1 
     year after the date on which the Director submits the report 
     under paragraph (6), the Director shall issue guidance to the 
     heads of Federal agencies as to how the Government-wide 
     financial data standards established under section 4(a) shall 
     be applied to the information required to be reported by 
     entities receiving Federal awards to--
       ``(A) reduce the burden of complying with reporting 
     requirements; and
       ``(B) simplify the reporting process, including by reducing 
     duplicative reports.

     ``SEC. 6. ACCOUNTABILITY FOR FEDERAL FUNDING.

       ``(a) Inspector General Reports.--
       ``(1) In general.--In accordance with paragraph (2), the 
     Inspector General of each Federal agency, in consultation 
     with the Comptroller General of the United States, shall--
       ``(A) review a statistically valid sampling of the spending 
     data submitted under this Act by the Federal agency; and
       ``(B) submit to Congress and make publically available a 
     report assessing the completeness, timeliness, quality, and 
     accuracy of the data sampled and the implementation and use 
     of data standards by the Federal agency.
       ``(2) Deadlines.--
       ``(A) First report.--Not later than 18 months after the 
     date on which the Director and the Secretary issue guidance 
     to Federal agencies under section 4(c)(1), the Inspector 
     General of each Federal agency shall submit and make 
     publically available a report as described in paragraph (1).
       ``(B) Subsequent reports.--On the same date as the 
     Inspector General of each Federal agency submits the second 
     and fourth reports under sections 3521(f) and 9105(a)(3) of 
     title 31, United States Code, that are submitted after the 
     report under subparagraph (A), the Inspector General shall 
     submit and make publically available a report as described in 
     paragraph (1). The report submitted under this subparagraph 
     may be submitted as a part of the report submitted under 
     section 3521(f) or 9105(a)(3) of title 31, United States 
     Code.
       ``(b) Comptroller General Reports.--
       ``(1) In general.--In accordance with paragraph (2) and 
     after a review of the reports submitted under subsection (a), 
     the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit to 
     Congress and make publically available a report assessing and 
     comparing the data completeness, timeliness, quality, and 
     accuracy of the data submitted under this Act by Federal 
     agencies and the implementation and use of data standards by 
     Federal agencies.
       ``(2) Deadlines.--Not later than 30 months after the date 
     on which the Director and the Secretary issue guidance to 
     Federal agencies under section 4(c)(1), and every 2 years 
     thereafter until the date that is 4 years after the date on 
     which the first report is submitted under this subsection, 
     the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit and 
     make publically available a report as described in paragraph 
     (1).
       ``(c) Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board Data 
     Analysis Center.--
       ``(1) In general.--The Secretary may establish a data 
     analysis center or expand an existing service to provide 
     data, analytic tools, and data management techniques to 
     support--
       ``(A) the prevention and reduction of improper payments by 
     Federal agencies; and
       ``(B) improving efficiency and transparency in Federal 
     spending.
       ``(2) Data availability.--The Secretary shall enter into 
     memoranda of understanding with Federal agencies, including 
     Inspectors General and Federal law enforcement agencies--
       ``(A) under which the Secretary may provide data from the 
     data analysis center for--
       ``(i) the purposes set forth under paragraph (1);
       ``(ii) the identification, prevention, and reduction of 
     waste, fraud, and abuse relating to Federal spending; and
       ``(iii) use in the conduct of criminal and other 
     investigations; and
       ``(B) which may require the Federal agency, Inspector 
     General, or Federal law enforcement agency to provide 
     reimbursement to the Secretary for the reasonable cost of 
     carrying out the agreement.
       ``(3) Transfer.--Upon the establishment of a data analysis 
     center or the expansion of a service under paragraph (1), and 
     on or before the date on which the Recovery Accountability 
     and Transparency Board terminates, and in addition to any 
     other transfer that the Director determines is necessary 
     under section 1531 of title 31, United States Code, there are 
     transferred to the Department of the Treasury all assets 
     identified by the Secretary that support the operations and 
     activities of the Recovery Operations Center of the Recovery 
     Accountability and Transparency Board relating to the 
     detection of waste, fraud, and abuse in the use of Federal 
     funds that are in existence on the day before the transfer.

     ``SEC. 7. CLASSIFIED AND PROTECTED INFORMATION.

       ``Nothing in this Act shall require the disclosure to the 
     public of--
       ``(1) information that would be exempt from disclosure 
     under section 552 of title 5,

[[Page H3205]]

     United States Code (commonly known as the `Freedom of 
     Information Act'); or
       ``(2) information protected under section 552a of title 5, 
     United States Code (commonly known as the `Privacy Act of 
     1974'), or section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

     ``SEC. 8. NO PRIVATE RIGHT OF ACTION.

       ``Nothing in this Act shall be construed to create a 
     private right of action for enforcement of any provision of 
     this Act.''.

     SEC. 4. EXECUTIVE AGENCY ACCOUNTING AND OTHER FINANCIAL 
                   MANAGEMENT REPORTS AND PLANS.

       Section 3512(a)(1) of title 31, United States Code, is 
     amended by inserting ``and make available on the website 
     described under section 1122'' after ``appropriate committees 
     of Congress''.

     SEC. 5. DEBT COLLECTION IMPROVEMENT.

       Section 3716(c)(6) of title 31, United States Code, is 
     amended--
       (1) by inserting ``(A)'' before ``Any Federal agency'';
       (2) in subparagraph (A), as so designated, by striking 
     ``180 days'' and inserting ``120 days''; and
       (3) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(B) The Secretary of the Treasury shall notify Congress 
     of any instance in which an agency fails to notify the 
     Secretary as required under subparagraph (A).''.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Issa) and the gentlewoman from the District of Columbia 
(Ms. Norton) each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from California.


                             General Leave

  Mr. ISSA. Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may 
have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks 
and include extraneous materials on the bill under consideration.
  The CHAIR. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from 
California?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. ISSA. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I rise in support of S. 994, the Digital Accountability and 
Transparency Act, or DATA Act.
  As chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, I 
have looked to tackle major problems pervasive in the Federal 
Government.
  Over the past 4 years, our committee, the majority and the minority, 
has taken up and moved several bills designed to reform the Federal 
Government.
  Majority Leader Cantor has worked with leaders on both sides of the 
aisle to take most of those reforms and advance them through the full 
House, often on a unanimous basis.
  All Members of the House can be proud of the work we have done to 
improve the Federal Government. Without a doubt, the most important 
transparency reform we have pushed over the last 4 years has been the 
DATA Act. The DATA Act is but a first shot of a technological 
revolution that will transform the way we govern.
  Just 3 weeks ago, the GAO's Comptroller General Gene Dodaro came 
before our committee and testified that the status of the Federal data 
programs is abysmal. Agencies have no standardized performance metrics 
for their programs. Agencies cannot tell us how many programs they 
have. But most importantly, agencies do not and usually cannot tell us 
how much taxpayer money has been spent on any given program.
  The spending information that is provided is often incomplete, out-
of-date, and very often inaccurate. The American people deserve to know 
if their taxpayer dollars are being wasted or whether they are being 
spent wisely. Even the meager amount of performance information 
collected today is useless if it cannot determine how much resources 
any given program truly consumes.
  This information disadvantages not only Congress, but in fact the 
President's administration. Presidential administrations one after 
another consist of but a few thousand officials to oversee a workforce 
of nearly 2 million people and trillions of dollars.
  Regardless of political party affiliation, each Congress and every 
President is frustrated by this large, permanent, unaccountable class 
of bureaucrats.

                              {time}  1615

  Some scholars have even deemed the permanent bureaucracy as the 
``fourth branch'' of the Federal Government.
  In order to better oversee the Federal Government, Congress, and even 
the President and his appointees, must better leverage the technology 
available today. The DATA Act will allow us to do just that.
  I introduced the first version of the DATA Act in 2011. Its 
inspiration came from a relatively small expense in the Obama 
administration's 2009 stimulus spending bill, a bill that I overall did 
not approve of but which did have this important accountability 
standard.
  The stimulus temporarily established an entity called the Recovery 
Accountability and Transparency Board. The Board was chaired by a 
respected inspector general, Earl Devaney. Under Chairman Devaney's 
leadership, the Board established direct reporting requirements for 
stimulus projects and standardized Federal agency reporting. This 
allowed inspector generals and other law enforcement agencies to more 
effectively prosecute fraud and prevent improper payments.
  Furthermore, this information was made available to the public online 
in an easy-to-download, easy-to-manipulate format so that journalists, 
academics, and government watchdogs could more easily analyze stimulus 
spending.
  I met with Vice President Joe Biden in November of 2010, prior to 
even becoming the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform 
Committee. Despite possible disagreements on some aspects of the 
stimulus, we found ourselves very much in support of the Recovery 
Board's successes and knew that it could be replicated across the 
entire Federal Government.
  I want to thank Vice President Biden for his continued public and 
private support for the kinds of reforms embedded in this legislation 
today, and particularly for continuing to be a champion of the Recovery 
Board's work and the transparency it brought.
  In order to do what we agreed to back in 2010, the Federal Government 
would need standardized data and reporting by all Federal agencies and 
improved recipient reporting. That is the only way that you could 
accomplish this, and legislative action was needed.
  After months of working with leading experts in the field of 
standardized reporting, I introduced in July of 2011 the first version 
of the DATA Act, H.R. 2146. Later that year, I joined with Ranking 
Member Elijah Cummings to refine the legislation and mark it up through 
our committee.
  I want to thank Representatives on both sides of the aisle here today 
for the bipartisan nature in which we worked on this kind of 
transparency work. It is technical. It is sometimes hard. Of course, it 
is a pushback from bureaucrats, but it is what Congress is supposed to 
do: make the institutional changes that make government more 
accountable.
  In April 2012 we brought it to the floor on a bipartisan basis and 
passed the first version of the DATA Act unanimously. While a companion 
version, S. 3600, was introduced by Senator Mark Warner of Virginia and 
Senator Rob Portman of Ohio that year, the Senate did not act on either 
it or the House-passed bill.
  Last year we reintroduced the DATA Act as H.R. 2061 and approved it 
unanimously out of our committee. We made significant changes to 
streamline the bill, but we maintained the focus on its core elements. 
Simultaneously, Senator Warner and Senator Portman introduced a new 
Senate companion, S. 994, the bill before us today. The House acted 
quickly again and approved H.R. 2061 by a vote of 388-1.
  Knowing that the legislative calendar was short, House and Senate 
sponsors worked with Senator Carper and Senator Coburn in a 
preconference process that ensured the bill would be taken up by the 
full Senate and which anticipates our passage here today.
  We also were able to bring to the table those reformers in the 
administration--both political appointees and career civil servants--to 
offer technical improvements to the bill, and they are incorporated in 
this legislation.
  While the bill does not contain all reforms the House advanced in its 
two previous votes on the DATA Act, the bill before us today does 
contain the core elements of the two prior versions of the bill and 
maintains the most important step: common data standards and recipient 
reporting.

[[Page H3206]]

  The DATA Act is more than just better tools to fight waste and fraud. 
It requires agencies to report their financial information in standard 
formats program by program. The DATA Act also gives policymakers in 
Congress and in the executive branch better information to make better 
decisions. More importantly, we give the American people better 
information to evaluate our performance.
  In addition to the strong data standards and requirements for 
agencies to produce program-by-program information, the House-Senate 
agreement contains two key provisions from previous versions of the 
DATA Act.
  First, the bill authorizes the Treasury Department to establish a 
cutting-edge data analysis center modeled specifically after the 
successful Recovery Operations Center, also known as the ROC. This is 
the center I spoke earlier about that was established by now-retired 
but still-distinguished friend of government Earl Devaney as part of 
the Recovery Board's stimulus transparency efforts.
  This new center will build on the innovative technology and ideas of 
the ROC and expand their use throughout the Federal Government. The 
DATA Act specifically provides for the transfer of that technology 
still in place at the ROC.
  This new Treasury Department data analysis center will be a vital 
tool for law enforcement agencies and the IGs in their criminal and 
other investigations. The new center will also serve agencies who 
strive to prevent improper payments.
  Second, the DATA Act agreement before you today establishes a pilot 
program to develop consolidated reporting for recipients of Federal 
funds. And I want to emphasize that, Madam Speaker. Federal recipients, 
people who get taxpayer money, will now have a transparent and 
consolidated way to send the information as to how they are spending it 
so you and the public will know.
  Hundreds of billions of Federal taxpayer dollars are spent every year 
by State, local, tribal governments, universities, and private 
institutions. These institutions end up inevitably wasting millions of 
taxpayer dollars complying with duplicative and complicated reporting 
requirements.
  At the end of a 2-year pilot program where some recipients will 
report to a single entity in a standardized manner, the Director of the 
Office of Management and Budget will issue guidance to all Federal 
agencies on how to streamline and consolidate reporting requirements. 
Just like with stimulus funds, the same data standards that apply to 
Federal agency reporting will apply to recipient reporting.
  The DATA Act will give the American people the ability to track how 
we spend their tax dollars. Instead of sifting through PDFs--a form of 
visual, nondata-based standard--posted online that only let's you see a 
picture of the spending--and many different formats--you now will in 
fact have all Federal spending information available for bulk download 
in a single, machine-readable format.

  That is a big mouthful, Madam Speaker, but what it really means is 
that both individuals and entities, large and small, will be able to 
create tools where, on your iPhone or Android, you will be able to ask 
a question and get back an answer as successfully as the programs that 
have previously been made available.
  The DATA Act will give lawmakers and public watchdogs powerful tools 
to identify and root out fraud, waste, and excess spending in the 
government. It will put at the American people's fingertips today the 
kind of information that only long and arduous research could unveil.
  More importantly, by simply opening up this information, we will 
enable journalists, academics, and even private sector businesses to 
use the data to create products that will deliver real value to the 
American people.
  This is just one example:
  The National Weather Service some years ago did just what we are 
proposing by opening up their data, making it freely available to the 
public some years ago. Today it supports a multibillion-dollar weather 
analysis industry, and every American with a smartphone or a computer 
can find out what the weather is and what it is forecasted to be at any 
location in America. That wouldn't be possible without that open data 
standard.
  I am very proud that it was a start, but there is more to do.
  The DATA Act will have the same ability to create jobs, which is why 
this bill is so important. It is endorsed by dozens of private sector 
technology companies.
  New York University Business School Professor Joel Gurin wrote in a 
recent book that ``the value of government open data is that it's a 
long-term, permanent resource that innovators can use for decades, 
developing new ideas and new companies as technology makes them 
possible.''
  That is a mouthful, but it says what we need to say, which is that 
this is going to create new industries that are able to leverage the 
information that today is not available to the American people and not 
available to the innovators in Silicon Valley and around America.
  I ask that my colleagues join with me today in sending this bill to 
the President for his signature, and I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. NORTON. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I am pleased to rise in support of S. 994, the DATA Act. This is a 
landmark piece of bipartisan and bicameral legislation that will change 
the way the government operates.
  I applaud the sponsor of S. 994, Senator Mark Warner, who put a lot 
of passion and hard work into this legislation; as did the principal 
sponsor here, whom you have just heard from, House Oversight Committee 
Chairman Darrell Issa, who put considerable energy into this bill over 
more than one session; as well as Senate Chairman Tom Carper of the 
Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee; and House 
Oversight Committee Ranking Member Elijah Cummings, who worked very 
diligently to get us to the House floor today.
  The DATA Act will provide the public with information about how the 
government is spending money, pure and simple. This will hold agencies 
accountable for their spending, and it will result in a more effective 
government.
  On April 8, 2014, the Comptroller General of the United States, Gene 
Dodaro, testified in support of this legislation. Here is what he said: 
``I think the DATA Act is one of the biggest single things that could 
be done in order to provide more transparency on the costs of these 
program activities.''
  The Comptroller General went on to say that the DATA Act would 
``standardize the data''--and that is the operative word, ``standardize 
the data''--``so that you would be able to compare data across 
agencies, which you can't do right now. It would also provide more 
consistent information and at a lower program spending level that we 
found to be a big obstacle in us identifying additional savings 
opportunities.''
  The DATA Act will require the Secretary of the Treasury and the 
Director of the Office of Management and Budget to establish 
government-wide data standards. This will improve the quality of the 
data that agencies make available about their spending.
  Under this bill, spending data will be available through a single Web 
site. The bill will require that spending data be available for each 
agency and each program activity in a searchable, downloadable format.
  The DATA Act is a bipartisan bill across both Chambers that will 
improve transparency and, in turn, make government work better. I urge 
every Member to support this legislation.

                              {time}  1630

  I would like, again, to express my strong support for this bill and 
to thank Chairman Issa for his many efforts to get it passed and 
through committee more than once.
  Madam Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. ISSA. Madam Speaker, in closing, this last weekend, the 
Associated Press talked about the waning days of this Congress and 
expected to have a do-nothing Congress.
  That is easy to say, but in this case, today, we are showing, on a 
bipartisan, bicameral basis, with our friends in the Senate, that there 
are major pieces of legislation that will save countless billions of 
dollars and provide better information to the American people and

[[Page H3207]]

to the watchdogs who want to root out waste, fraud, and abuse in our 
government.
  So this is not a controversial bill because it has taken years of 
hard work to get it right. But, in fact, this is a major piece of 
legislation.
  I want to close by thanking Senator Carper, Senator Coburn, Senator 
Portman, and Senator Warner, the author of the bill today, in addition 
to Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, and of course, my ranking member, 
Congressman Cummings.
  This has been bipartisan. It is one of the many pieces of bipartisan 
legislation that take a long time, they hold a lot of hearings, but at 
the end of the day, the American people can trust that the American 
people's work does get done, in spite of some of the things we are 
unable to do. This is a major piece of legislation.
  I want to thank, lastly, leadership for bringing this to the floor 
today in a timely fashion so that we can get it to the President's desk 
for signing next week.
  Madam Speaker, I urge support and yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mrs. Black). The question is on the motion 
offered by the gentleman from California (Mr. Issa) that the House 
suspend the rules and pass the bill, S. 994.
  The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the 
rules were suspended and the bill was passed.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

                          ____________________