DATA Act creates new oversight commission

Thursday - 4/26/2012, 2:45pm EDT

Hudson Hollister, executive director, Data Transparency Coalition

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( Correction: An earlier version of this article included factual errors about the makeup of the Federal Accountability and Spending Transparency Commission. The article has been updated).

The House-passed DATA Act creates a five-member commission to oversee government transparency.

The Federal Accountability and Spending Transparency Commission — or FAST Commission — would conduct investigations and reviews of federal spending to avoid duplication.

The legislation — passed Wednesday in the House — also establishes uniform standards for all federal spending reporting and sets up a single website to search for federal funds.

The FAST commission will consist of five commissioners, nominated by the President to serve five-year terms. The commissioners must be confirmed by the Senate and no more than three members of the board can be of the same party affiliation.

The issue of data transparency crosses political lines, said Hudson Hollister, executive director of the Data Transparency Coalition.

"Both political sides think that proper data will validate their perspective. We're happy to have both sides advocating for this because everybody can use good data," Hollister said in an interview The Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Emily Kopp.

The FAST Board would be a governmentwide version of the RAT Board — the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board. Kathleen Tighe, the current RAT Board chairwoman, has told Federal News Radio technologies developed to help in oversight of Recovery Act funds could be applied to other types of federal spending.

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