Warner introduces Senate version of spending tracking bill

Democratic senator from Virginia introduces the legislation

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) introduced legislation June 16 to establish a single Web-based platform to track federal spending.

The legislation, the Data Accountability and Transparency Act, is the Senate companion to a bill introduced earlier this month by Rep. Darell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

The bill would incorporate elements of the Office of Management and Budget’s USASpending.gov website and the stimulus law spending tracking website Recovery.gov into a new online database. It would also set standards for reporting spending data -- including grants, contracts, loans and internal expenses -- by agencies and recipients.

Related story:

Rep. Issa tries oversight on recovery board model 

“Standardizing the way this information is reported, and then centralizing the way it’s publicly disclosed, will make it a lot easier to identify needless duplication and inefficiency and help us spot and prevent waste and fraud,” Warner said. “By working together in a bipartisan way, we will create a powerful new tool that further empowers taxpayers and policy-makers and changes the way the federal government does business.”

In addition, the bill would direct a new panel called the Federal Accountability and Spending Transparency Board to come up with consistent reporting standards for all federally collected data.

About the Author

Alyah Khan is a staff writer covering IT policy.

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Reader comments

Mon, Jul 11, 2011 Tara

The main reason USAspending.gov is useless is the poor data quality. The OMB, which is responsible for the site, has been unable to improve the site. An independent board of auditors and data gurus may be better able to create a website that shows where the federal government spends its money. The only bad part about Issa's bill is that OMB has a presence on the proposed board. OMB is useless in these types of initiatives and should really just be assisting the board as needed.

Tue, Jun 28, 2011

I don't understand how anyone can say this proposal will have no effect. We are finally getting the answer to our biggest question: "Where is our tax money going?" According to the legislation or at least how I understand it, taxpayers, elected officials, and the MEDIA will be able to monitor how the government is spending our money. Of course this will cost money, but it is long overdue and will self-fund almost immediately.

Tue, Jun 21, 2011

This is a seemingly innocuous proposal that will cost far too much and have no effect. Earl Devaney is just trying to keep his people employed.

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