Wow! Well, it looks like government reporting may be changing significantly if Rep. Darrell Issa’s proposed new DATA Act legislation is passed (summary here). This act will consolidate the tracking and reporting of all Federal spending, on contracts, grants, loans, and government internal expenses, into one body, called the Federal Accountability and Spending Transparency (FAST) Board. This will be modeled on the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, which oversaw the almost $800 billion Recovery Act stimulus.
When the Recovery Act was passed, many commentators cast doubt on whether the government could effectively stand up and operate such a large-scale reporting enterprise so quickly. The record shows, though, that the government was largely successful in this endeavor, and the public’s appetite for more transparency hasn’t waned at all. Rep. Issa’s legislation makes a great deal of sense in light of this.
[Hat tip to Cornelia Chebinou at NASACT for getting word on this out so quickly.]