Oversight

Data Act sponsor wants a look at agency implementation plans

 

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) said he "remains strongly committed to robust oversight of Data Act implementation."

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) has again asked federal agencies to share how they plan to implement his legislative baby, the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act.

Warner sent a letter on Sept. 14 asking agencies for their updated implementation plans. He had issued a similar letter in April.

As mandated in the act, the Treasury Department published standards for making budget data machine-readable on April 29, and the Office of Management and Budget released final implementation guidance on May 3.

In August, however, the Government Accountability Office raised questions about Treasury's and OMB's monitoring of Data Act implementation and said agencies had been slow to adopt the guidance.

In his latest letter, Warner said he has heard concerns about governmentwide guidance and the final technical plans from OMB and Treasury. He also raised concerns about "common challenges" for agencies in implementing the law, which include resource constraints and legacy financial management systems that could cost agencies more to update or support.

Warner co-sponsored the Data Act, which was signed into law two years ago.

He wrote in his Sept. 14 letter that "the Data Act presents both challenges and opportunities for your agency and when fully implemented will create transparency for federal funds, set governmentwide financial data standards, reduce reporting requirements of federal award recipients and improve overall data quality."

He said he "remains strongly committed to robust oversight of Data Act implementation."

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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