House Passes Spending Transparency Bill

Orhan Cam/

The DATA Act would help watchdogs keep tabs on how federal dollars are spent.

The U.S. House passed legislation on Wednesday aimed at making federal spending data more transparent and easier to compare across agencies.

The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act would require agencies to use a uniform coding system for federal spending data so internal auditors and external watchdogs could easily compare how one agency is spending its money versus another.

The bill would also force improvements to the federal spending transparency website, making it easier for external watchdogs to track and compare how tax dollars are spent across federal agencies.

The bill, sponsored by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., passed the House nearly unanimously on a vote of 388 to 1.

“[The DATA Act] will create the opportunity for government to be more efficient, more effective, and more transparent,” Issa said in a statement. “The American people deserve real accountability of how their taxpayer dollars are spent, now more than ever.” 

Companion legislation, sponsored by Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, was approved by the Senate’s Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee earlier this month and is awaiting discussion on the Senate floor.

(Image via Orhan Cam/