US DATA Act – Passes the House

As expected, the DATA Act was passed by the US House of Representatives today. Submitted and sponsored by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), it was passed by voice vote. The Act establishes a new Federal Accountability and Spending Transparency Commission, which will take over the activities previously the purview of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board. The DATA Act requires reporting on all tiers of subawards and includes a reporting threshhold of $100,000.

Added to the bill in recent days, were provisions responding to the recent GSA conference debacle. The bill will cut Federal agency spending on conferences by 20% from their 2010 levels, cap spending on individual conferences at $500,000 (although additional funding from outside sources could increase this level), and limit the number of attendees to international meetings to 50 unless the secretary of state determines more are needed. These match provisions added to a US Postal Service overhaul bill in the Senate expected to be voted on today as well.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) is the sponsor of the Senate version of the DATA Act. The focus now shifts to the Senate, which has not substantially considered the bill yet. The bill is with the Senate Budget Committee.

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