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New bill drives spending transparency

September 16, 2013

New legislation promoting the use of open data standards across the nation has received fervent support from decision makers in the federal government. Sponsored by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the bill focuses on standardizing financial transparency guidelines along similar lines to the private financial sector, according to InformationWeek.

Titled the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, this legislation could be an important step forward for both the federal administration and town, city and county offices, as it will set the foundation for transparency and open government efforts related to budgets and account matters. Many citizens complaints regarding their local council operations are related to finances.

In addition to standardizing the guidelines for budget data access, the DATA act will focus on the open data software used as well, focusing on efficiency and enforcing standardization for machine-readable code.

"Organizing and structuring data will save countless hundreds of millions of dollars in the short run - and in the long run, will save billions of dollars," Rep. Issa said, according to the news source.

Embracing open and transparent government standards will be a key consideration for local councils in the near future, and investing in the right solutions to meet citizen expectations in this area is critical.