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US government will finally make it easy to see how your tax dollars are spent


The United States government is going to begin standardizing its spending data and publishing it on a single website within three years, in a move thats hoped to dramatically enhance transparency around federal spending. The new policy is a result of whats being hailed as the first \open data\ law, the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (the DATA Act), which was just signed last Friday. Itll be several years before all of its components go into effect, but the result should be federal agencies using a standardized reporting method to detail even more of their expenditures than were previously disclosed. \Improved transparency means greater accountability to the taxpayers.\\Right now, federal spending data is not always readily available and, if it is, it’s often in a format that is not very useful,\ Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), a sponsor of the DATA Act, says in a statement. \This new law requires federal agencies to account for every dollar they spend on a single website, in an easy-to-read format, and it will help us to identify duplication, waste and fraud.\ As Warner notes, the information wasnt necessarily hidden from the public before, but it may have required working with each individual agency to find and decipher it.

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