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  • May 09, 2018 7:07 PM | Data Coalition Team (Administrator)


    Washington, D.C. – Today marks the DATA Act's fourth anniversary and the first full year of agency reporting. By May 9, 2018, the Treasury Department  will have collected one full year of federal financial information from all CFO Act agencies, in accordance with the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (P.L. 113-101). A full year of reported financial information gives the public and federal government stakeholders a substantial dataset to identify trends within specific agencies and across the entire government.

    “Drawing on a year’s worth of data, new management tools are now available to agencies and Congress that will allow them to draw greater insights, lay the groundwork for better internal management, and improve oversight,” said Hudson Hollister, Executive Director of the Data Coalition. “Last month, the Treasury Department formally launched its redesign of USAspending.gov, the government-wide spending data portal, and the Data Lab, which highlights new tools to better understand federal spending. Our Coalition encourages Congress to begin using the data set for appropriations, oversight, and insights into their districts and states.”

    About the Data Coalition: The Data Coalition is the world’s first, and only, open data trade association. We empower data companies to make our government more efficient and transparent through the standardization and publication of its information. Open data enhances accountability, improves government management, reduces compliance costs, and stimulates innovation. Our members represent a cross-section of the technology industry and implementers, employ over two hundred thousand Americans, and have a combined market capitalization exceeding $1.5 trillion. For more information, visit datacoalition.org.

     

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  • April 05, 2018 7:16 PM | Data Coalition Team (Administrator)


    Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Fiscal Service launched the Data Lab. This analytics portal is hosted on the newly revamped USAspending.gov site, in accordance with the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (P.L. 113-101).

    “We congratulate the Treasury’s Fiscal Service team and the Office of Management and Budget for the successful roll-out of the new DATA Act site, USASpending.gov,” said Hudson Hollister, Executive Director of the Data Coalition. “The revamped site and Data Lab provide greater insights, accountability and oversight into $3.98 trillion of government spending last year alone. We are encouraged by the progress and recognize that agencies must continue to improve the quality of their data submissions in accordance with the law’s requirements.”

    The data set is the first of its kind and will transform the way the government tracks and publishes spending information that was not readily available, previously. Congressional appropriations are directly linked to the activities, contracts, and grants they fund – across all agencies, searchable on a single platform. Additionally, data companies, journalists, non-profits, and Congress can freely access the entirety of the information for outside manipulation and analysis via the bulk download function or the application programming interface (API).

    This is all possible with Treasury’s establishment of the openly-documented DATA Act Information Model Schema (DAIMS), the first government-wide open data model. The DAIMS enables agencies to align their previously segmented accounting, procurement, and financial assistance datasets in common view. Treasury’s Data Lab demonstrates the power of this data model.

    Data Lab Features:

    The Data Coalition has recommended that the DAIMS now serve as the primary government-wide administrative data model. For instance, OMB should align agency Annual Performance Planning and Annual Financial Reporting processes to the DAIMS. Our testimony before the House Oversight Committee’s 2016 “Power of the Purse” hearing recommended using the DAIMS to better track agency fines, fees, and collections.

    Recent administration plans appear to support this vision. The U.S. Treasury’s recently-released 2018 Strategic Plan states that ”[the DAIMS] can be expanded to include other administrative data and link more domains across the federal enterprise…to support decision-making and provide metrics for evaluating program performance and outcomes” (see page 30). The President’s Management Agenda envisions how Goal 2: Levering Data as a Strategic Asset “will build on work like the DATA Act Information Model Schema (DAIMS)” (see page 16).

    About the Data Coalition: The Data Coalition is the world’s first, and only, open data trade association. We advocate on behalf of the private sector and the public interest for the publication of government information as standardized, open data. Open data enhances accountability, improves government management, reduces compliance costs, and stimulates innovation. Our members represent a cross-section of the technology industry and implementers, employ over two hundred thousand Americans, and have a combined market capitalization exceeding $1.5 trillion. For more information, visit datacoalition.org.

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  • February 06, 2018 7:22 PM | Data Coalition Team (Administrator)


    Washington, D.C. –  One week after Representatives Virginia Foxx (NC-R-5) and Jimmy Gomez (CA-34-D) introduced the Grant Reporting Efficiency and Agreements Transparency (GREAT) Act (H.R. 4887), the House Oversight and government Reform Committee marked-up the bill. The GREAT Act was favorably reported out of the Committee and will now move to the House floor for a vote.

    “The GREAT Act will streamline federal grant reporting by replacing outdated documents with open data, increase transparency from grantmaking agencies, and reduce compliance costs,” said Congresswoman Foxx in today’s hearing. “It will do so by tasking OMB and a standard setting agency with creating standardized data elements needed for guidance to agencies awarding grants within one year. While OMB sets forth on this project we mandate that it interface and consult with industry stakeholders, members of the public, and grant recipients.”

    The only substantive change made to the bill came in the form of an amendment offered by Rep. Gerry Connolly (VA-11-D), which changed the original text’s requirement for the government to adopt a nonproprietary identifier to register and track grant recipients. The current system requires each grantee to obtain a proprietary DUNS Number to be eligible to receive federal awards. The amendment, which was agreed to by voice vote after some discussion amongst the Committee members, allows the current arrangement to continue, but directs the  OMB Director to review and make a decision on whether to switch to a nonproprietary grantee identifier within one year. In response, Rep. Foxx defended the bill’s original language, stating simply that “the debate over a nonproprietary standard for identifiers is central to that of any debate on government data and transparency”.

    This identifier is key to making sense of federal grant spending across the government. According to GAO, the owner of the identifier, Dun & Bradstreet, Inc., “has a monopoly for government unique identifiers that has contributed to higher costs”.

    “Our Coalition applauds Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (NC-5-R) for her strong leadership on the GREAT Act (H.R. 4887) and commends Chairman Meadows for favorably reporting the bill out of the House Oversight Committee,” said Hudson Hollister, Executive Director of the Data Coalition. “The GREAT Act will fix federal grant reporting by reducing compliance costs, creating efficiencies and unlocking critical grant data. Along with the Sunlight Foundation and other transparency groups, we support nonproprietary identifiers, and look forward to advocating that position with OMB when the GREAT Act becomes law.”

    The GREAT Act has four main benefits:

    1. Reduces recipient compliance costs by automating the compilation and submission of reports to federal agencies.
    2. Creates a single consolidated data set of federal grant receipts information.
    3. Fosters increased federal oversight and transparency into the distribution of federal funding.
    4. Facilitates the adoption of modern technologies such as blockchain.

    Read the full text of the bill here.

    Read a summary of the bill here.

    About the Data Coalition: The Data Coalition is the world’s first, and only, open data trade association. We advocate on behalf of the private sector and the public interest for the publication of government information as standardized, open data. Open data enhances accountability, improves government management, reduces compliance costs, and stimulates innovation. Our members represent a cross-section of the technology industry and implementers, employ over two hundred thousand Americans, and have a combined market capitalization exceeding $1.5 trillion. For more information, visit datacoalition.org.

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  • February 01, 2018 7:31 PM | Data Coalition Team (Administrator)


    Washington, D.C. –  This week Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (NC-5-R) and Congressmen Jimmy Gomez (CA-34-D), Mike Quigley (IL-5-D) and Derek Kilmer (WA-6-D) introduced the Grant Reporting Efficiency and Agreements Transparency (GREAT) Act (H.R. 4887). The Data Coalition, the nation’s only open data trade association, endorsed the bill.

    By replacing outdated documents with structured and machine-readable open data, the GREAT Act will deliver transparency for grantmaking agencies and the public and allow grantees to automate their reporting processes, reducing compliance costs.

    The GREAT Act requires the creation of a comprehensive and standardized data structure, or “taxonomy”, covering all data elements reported by recipients of federal awards, including both grant and cooperative agreements. The proposed legislation tasks the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and a leading grant making agency with implementation.

    “In its current form, grant reporting is overly complex and riddled with flaws,” said Hudson Hollister, Executive Director of the Data Coalition. “The GREAT Act will solve this problem. The proposed legislation will require the adoption of a government-wide open data structure for all the information grantees report. Ultimately, replacing documents with data will alleviate compliance burdens for the grantee community, provide instant insights for grantor agencies and Congress, and enable easy access to data for oversight, analytics, and program evaluation.”

    The newly introduced legislation has four main benefits:

    1. Reduces recipient compliance costs by automating the compilation and submission of reports to federal agencies.
    2. Creates a single consolidated data set of federal grant receipts information.
    3. Fosters increased federal oversight and transparency into the distribution of federal funding.
    4. Facilitates the adoption of modern technologies such as blockchain.

    Read the full text of the bill here.

    Read a summary of the bill here.

    About the Data Coalition: The Data Coalition is the world’s first, and only, open data trade association. We advocate on behalf of the private sector and the public interest for the publication of government information as standardized, open data. Open data enhances accountability, improves government management, reduces compliance costs, and stimulates innovation. Our members represent a cross-section of the technology industry and implementers, employ over two hundred thousand Americans, and have a combined market capitalization exceeding $1.5 trillion. For more information, visit datacoalition.org.

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  • November 15, 2017 7:36 PM | Data Coalition Team (Administrator)


    Washington, D.C. – Today, for the first time, the OPEN Government Data (OPEN) Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives. The House unanimously approved the bill under suspension of the rules. The OPEN Government Data Act is included as Title II in Speaker Ryan’s Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act (FEBP) (HR 4174).

    The OPEN Government Data Act sets a presumption that all government information should be open data by default: machine-readable and freely-reusable.

    The Data Coalition, along with other advocacy organizations, have strongly supported the OPEN Government Data Act for nearly 3 years. Today’s vote marks a milestone in the open data movement. This bill prioritizes open data, which will increase accountability and improved internal data-driven management.

    House Cosponsors of the FEBP Act include Speaker Paul Ryan (WI-1-R), Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (SC-4-R), Reps. Derek Kilmer (WA-6-D), and Blake Farenthold (TX-27-R). The bill now goes to the Senate, which has passed the OPEN Government Data Act twice; once in the 114th Congress (see more) and this past summer as part of the Senate’s National Defense Authorization Act package (see press release).

    About the Data Coalition: The Data Coalition is the world’s first, and only, open data trade association. We advocate on behalf of the private sector and the public interest for the publication of government information as standardized, open data. Open data enhances accountability, improves government management, reduces compliance costs, and stimulates innovation. Our members represent a cross-section of the technology industry and implementers, employ over two hundred thousand Americans, and have a combined market capitalization exceeding $1.5 trillion. For more information, visit datacoalition.org.

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  • November 02, 2017 3:03 AM | Data Coalition Team (Administrator)

    Washington, D.C. – Yesterday Speaker Paul Ryan introduced the OPEN Government Data Act (OPEN) as a Title within his new Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act (FEBP) (HR 4174).

    Speaker Ryan’s new bill incorporates recommendations from the September report of the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking.

    Cosponsors of the FEBP Act include Speaker Paul Ryan (WI-1-R), Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (SC-4-R), Reps. Derek Kilmer (WA-6-D) and Blake Farenthold (TX-27-R), and Senators Patty Murray (WA-D) and Brian Schatz (HI-D).

    “By including OPEN as part of this legislation, Speaker Ryan has recognized the connection between transforming government information into machine-readable and open data and using that data to inform policy,” said Hudson Hollister, Executive Director of the Data Coalition. “Speaker Ryan’s proposed legislation highlights that this Congress is truly committed to modernizing public-sector information, which leads to transparency outside and efficiency inside.”

    Today the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee unanimously approved the FEBP Act. The package bill is set to receive a vote on the House floor in the coming weeks.

    About the Data Coalition: The Data Coalition is the world’s first, and only, open data trade association. We advocate on behalf of the private sector and the public interest for the publication of government information as standardized, open data. Open data enhances accountability, improves government management, reduces compliance costs, and stimulates innovation. Our members represent a cross-section of the technology industry and implementers, employ over two hundred thousand Americans, and have a combined market capitalization exceeding $1.5 trillion. For more information, visit datacoalition.org.

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  • September 18, 2017 3:07 AM | Data Coalition Team (Administrator)


    Washington, D.C. – Today the Senate passed the Open, Public, Electronic and Necessary (OPEN) Government Data Act, championed by Senators Ben Sasse (R-NE) and Brian Schatz (D-HI).

    The bill was incorporated into a package of amendments (S.Amdt.1003) representing the final negotiated Senate FY18 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) (S. 1519; H.R. 2810). You can find the new bill text incorporated as Sec. 6012 on page 1013 of the Congressional Record here.

    “The Data Coalition and our member companies have been diligently working with both Senate and House champions since February 2015 to get the OPEN Government Data Act signed into law,” said Hudson Hollister, Executive Director of the Data Coalition. “By requiring all federal agencies to publish their information in open, machine-readable formats, this reform will bring about greater efficiency within government and unprecedented transparency outside government.”

    The NDAA is expected to be passed by the House of Representatives and signed by the President, meaning that the OPEN Government Data Act is likely to become law.

    This version of the OPEN Government Data Act closely mirrors the original bill introduced earlier this year (S.760; H.R. 1770), but incorporates some changes based on input from the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), ensuring support from the Administration going forward.

    View the original bill (S.760) here.

    About the Data Coalition: The Data Coalition is the world’s first, and only, open data trade association. We advocate on behalf of the private sector and the public interest for the publication of government information as standardized, open data. Open data enhances accountability, improves government management, reduces compliance costs, and stimulates innovation. Our members represent a cross-section of the technology industry and implementers, employ over two hundred thousand Americans, and have a combined market capitalization exceeding $1.5 trillion. For more information, visit datacoalition.org.

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  • September 14, 2017 3:11 AM | Data Coalition Team (Administrator)


    Washington, D.C. – Today the Open, Public, Electronic and Necessary (OPEN) Government Data Act (S.760; H.R. 1770), as championed by Senators Ben Sasse (R-NE) and Brian Schatz (D-HI), was incorporated into a package of amendments (S.Amdt.1003) representing the final negotiated Senate FY18 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) (S. 1519; H.R. 2810). You can find the new bill text incorporated as Sec. 6012 on page 1013 of the Congressional Record here.

    The NDAA is expected to pass both chambers of Congress and be signed by the President, meaning that this open data bill is likely to become law.

    This version of the OPEN Government Data Act closely mirrors the original bill (S. 760), but incorporates some changes based on input from the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), ensuring support from the Administration going forward.

    On Monday, July 24th, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee cleared S.760 for consideration by the full Senate (see S. Rept. 115-134) (the Committee-cleared version does not include the revised text from OMB as incorporated into the Senate NDAA package).

    The OPEN Government Data Act will require a government-wide policy for all federal agencies to publish their information online, using non-proprietary, machine-readable data formats. Sasse and Schatz have been leading the campaign for its passage in the Senate; Representatives Blake Farenthold (R-TX) and Derek Kilmer (D-WA) have introduced it in the House.

    The bill codifies the 2013 government-wide Open Data policy (“Open Data Policy-Managing Information as an Asset”, M-13-13), which has been integrated into agency policy for the past four years, into law.

    “The OPEN Government Data Act is a comprehensive open data mandate that establishes open and machine-readable data as the benchmark for all federal agency information management,” said Hudson Hollister, Executive Director of the Data Coalition. “This bill will push the whole federal government to modernize, across all its information operations, and it will reinforce the mandate of the DATA Act of 2014 to transform spending information into open data. We applaud Senators Sasse and Schatz for their steadfast bipartisanship leadership.”

    The Revised OPEN Government Data Act:

    • Pushes federal agencies to publish all their data sets in a truly accessible manner, as machine-readable data, using open formats;
    • Requires the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director to publish consolidated and comprehensive guidance to govern agency implementation of the bill’s requirements;
    • Mandates that agency Chief Information Officers (CIOs) follow OMB guidance to make all public federal data sets available through a central Federal Data Catalog managed by the General Services Administration (GSA);
    • Creates expectations for agency CIOs to improve the integrity, quality, and utility of their data assets;
    • Challenges the government’s current use of proprietary data sets by requiring agencies to use open formats for any new open government data asset and to the extent practicable adopt open formats for all open data assets created before the passage of the Act;
    • Empowers agency Chief Information Officers with oversight over data asset management, formatting, compilation of the agency Enterprise Data Inventory, reviewing best practices and public engagement, ensuring agency IT infrastructure can support open data, ensuring that agencies use their own data assets to improve operations, and using data to support government-wide administration, statistics, research and financial management initiatives; and
    • Writes meaningful definitions for “data asset”, “metadata”, and “machine-readable” into US law to enable smarter legislation in the future.

    In late June of this year, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scored S.760 and concluded that it would cost about $2 million over the 2018-2021 period (see the CBO statement here).

    For more background on the OPEN Government Data Act, you can view our Executive Director’s testimony at the March House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing titled, “Legislative Proposals for Fostering Transparency.” The full hearing recap is here.

    Track the original bill (S.760) here.

    About the Data Coalition: The Data Coalition is the world’s first, and only, open data trade association. We advocate on behalf of the private sector and the public interest for the publication of government information as standardized, open data. Open data enhances accountability, improves government management, reduces compliance costs, and stimulates innovation. Our members represent a cross-section of the technology industry and implementers, employ over two hundred thousand Americans, and have a combined market capitalization exceeding $1.5 trillion. For more information, visit datacoalition.org.

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  • March 29, 2017 3:13 AM | Data Coalition Team (Administrator)

    Bill will set a presumption that all public federal information should be expressed as open data

    Washington, D.C. – Today a bicameral and bipartisan group of lawmakers reintroduced the Open, Public, Electronic and Necessary (OPEN) Government Data Act (H.R. 1770). The OPEN Government Data Act will require all federal agencies to publish their information online, using non-proprietary, machine-readable data formats. Senators Ben Sasse (R-NE) and Brian Schatz (D-HI), and Representatives Blake Farenthold (R-TX) and Derek Kilmer (D-WA) led the reintroduction.

    The bill codifies and expands the 2013 government-wide Open Data policy (“Open Data Policy-Managing Information as an Asset”, M-13-13), which has been integrated into agency policy for the past three years.

    “The reintroduction of the OPEN Government Data Act marks another milestone in the open data movement,” said Hudson Hollister, Executive Director of the Data Coalition. “This bill builds on open data reforms such as the DATA Act of 2014. The OPEN Government Data Act will mean all government data can be easily republished and analyzed, delivering transparency outside the government and efficiency inside the government. The Data Coalition thanks Congressional leaders Senators Sasse and Schatz and Representatives Kilmer and Farenthold for their leadership.”

    The OPEN Government Data Act will:

    • Push federal agencies to publish all their data sets in a truly accessible manner, as machine-readable data, using open formats;
    • Help map all federal data sets through the creation of Enterprise Data Inventories, maintained by agency Chief Information Officers and tracked by the GSA’s data.gov, a single portal for publicly sharing all open government data assets;
    • Create expectations for agencies to improve the quality of open government data assets by establishing agency guidelines;
    • Challenge the government’s current use of the proprietary DUNS Number to identify grantees and contractors, which gives Dun & Bradstreet, Inc., itself a private-sector contractor, a protected and profitable monopoly over federal award data.
    • Empower agency Chief Information Officers with oversight over data asset management, formatting, compilation of the agency Enterprise Data Inventory, reviewing best practices and public engagement, ensuring agency IT infrastructure can support open data, and ensuring that agencies use their own data assets to improve operations; and
    • Write meaningful open data definitions into US law to enable smarter legislation in the future.

    Read the full text of the bill here.

    In December last year the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scored S.2852 (114th Congress) and concluded there would be no significant budgetary impact (see the CBO statement here).

    For more about the OPEN Government Data Act, view last week’s House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing titled, “Legislative Proposals for Fostering Transparency.” The hearing covered legislative proposals including the OPEN Government Data Act. For a recap of the hearing, click here.

    About the Data Coalition: The Data Coalition advocates on behalf of the private sector and the public interest for the publication of government information as standardized, open data. Open data enhances accountability, improves government management, reduces compliance costs, and stimulates innovation. Our members represent a cross-section of the technology industry and implementers, including market leaders such as Workiva, Donnelley Financial Solutions, Booz Allen Hamilton, PwC, and CGI Federal and growing start-ups such as idaciti and cBEYONData. Collectively, they employ over two hundred thousand Americans and have a combined market capitalization exceeding $1.5 trillion. For more information, visit datacoalition.org.

     

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  • March 28, 2017 3:17 AM | Data Coalition Team (Administrator)


    Reps. David Brat and Seth Moulton re-introduce the Statutes at Large Modernization Act, H.R. 1729

    Washington, D.C. — Congressman David Brat (R-VA) and Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA) have reintroduced the Statutes at Large Modernizations Act (SALMA), H.R. 1729. If enacted, SALMA would put all historical federal laws online in a machine-readable, open data format.

    “Congress must adopt a comprehensive open data structure for all legislative materials including bills, amendments, and enacted laws,” said Hudson Hollister, Executive Director of the Data Coalition. “The Statutes at Large Modernization Act will transform the Statutes at Large from outdated documents and PDFs to open, machine-readable data. Citizens, journalists, reporters and Congress itself will benefit.”

    About SALMA:

    • The US Code is not a complete history of US laws. While the US Code organizes (a process called “codification”) all public laws (“Pub.L.”) by subject matter, the US Statutes at Large lists them sequentially, the way they were originally passed by Congress. Therefore the US Code does not include repealed laws, original laws prior to being amended, private laws (“Pvt. L.”) affecting individuals or small groups, or cyclical bills with limited duration such as annual Congressional appropriations or infrastructure projects.
    • SALMA directs the Government Publishing Office to lead the online digitization of the Statutes at Large, collaboration with other Federal and private entities with expertise in developing formatting conventions legislative materials.
    • SALMA will make the Statutes at Large available in a searchable, non-proprietary open data format on Congress.gov, aligned with Congress’s US Legislative Model (USLM), the leading open data format for legislative materials. The USLM uses standardized electronic data elements to specify titles, sections, and paragraphs; identify citations; pinpoint dates of enactment and effectiveness; and express other information that previously had to be manually understood by humans reading the text.
    • SALMA will mean software can understand the structure of historically-passed laws, connect citations electronically, and enable valuable legal and legislative research.

    Contact: Jessica Yabsley at Jessica.yabsley@datacoalition.org or 202-415-4025

    About the Data Coalition: The Data Coalition advocates on behalf of the private sector and the public interest for the publication of government information as standardized, open data. Open data enhances accountability, improves government management, reduces compliance costs, and stimulates innovation. Our members represent a cross-section of the technology industry and implementers, including market leaders such as Workiva, Donnelley Financial Solutions, Booz Allen Hamilton, PwC, and CGI Federal and growing start-ups such as idaciti and cBEYONData. Collectively, they employ over two hundred thousand Americans and have a combined market capitalization exceeding $1.5 trillion. For more information, visit datacoalition.org.

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