Issa talks DATA Act and transparency at Strata Conference

Vishal Ganesan Contributor
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Rep. Darrell Issa, the California Republican who chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, spoke to O’Reilly Media’s Strata Conference Wednesday morning about federal spending transparency, and discussed his Digital Accountability and Transparency (DATA) Act.

In a prepared statement, Issa said the legislation “will transform the successful Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board and apply its proven spending transparency approach government-wide in order to track all federal spending.” Issa also said the Act would ensure federal spending information is more available to the public.

According to OpenCongress, the DATA Act would create an “independent agency in the executive branch, to be known as the Federal Accountability and Spending Transparency Board.” That bureaucracy would be responsible for increasing transparency and “making spending available to the public online.”

In a rough cut of video from the event, Issa says his bill has bipartisan support, and that standardized data reporting and delivery would improve the accuracy of the data itself, which “is in everyone’s best interest.”

The non-profit Sunlight Foundation reports that during the Q&A that followed, Issa argued for greater private-sector participation in his initiative “because they will benefit from building and using the tools made possible by greater transparency.” Issa also “specifically singled out Vice President Biden as a supporter” of his efforts, Sunlight reported.

And while Rep. Issa does believe private industry will support his initiative, he predicts that there may be pushback from public universities which “receive dollars and are very concerned that people may criticize how they distribute funds.”

Issa’s comments about his proposed bill come two days after the Sunlight Foundation released its Clearspending Report which concluded that “$1.3 trillion in federal spending was misreported in 2010.”