Sunday, July 13, 2014

Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act)

On May 9, 2014, President Barack Obama signed the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act), Public Law No. 113-101, which had been passed unanimously by both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

—Data Transparency Coalition (

The above statement is great news for everyone in the United States who cares about efficiency and transparency in the federal government. How many pieces of legislation can you think of that were passed unanimously by both the House and the Senate, especially when they were controlled by different parties? And for the first time, the U.S. Government must have a data standard that every agency follows, making dramatic improvements in data calls by Congress and interchanges of data between agencies. There is a lot of work to be done for this enormous data strategy, architecture, and governance endeavor, but I believe it will have a fairly quick ROI and continue to improve our government's data management for many years to come.

I learned about the DATA Act when I was researching data standards earlier this year. This should have been headline news when it passed the House and Senate and when it was signed into law by the President (I was so excited, I even watched when the Senate passed it on C-SPAN!). Yet, very few people I meet have even heard of the DATA Act so far. Well, since you are reading this, count yourself among the very informed. Watch this brief video to get an overview of what the DATA Act and the Data Transparency Coalition are all about.

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