White House Officials: To Manage the Government, Open Its Data

Jack Corrigan | Next Gov | September 26, 2017

White House officials see standardizing federal data as a crucial step to making government more effective and efficient. Opening that data to the public could also spur economic growth, they said. “Open data is not just a transparency exercise,” said acting Federal Chief Information Officer Margie Graves. “It really is integral to the management of government itself. Everybody recognizes that this is the platform on which we have to build our house.”

Graves highlighted the many ways standard data frameworks can streamline government processes and reduce wasteful spending Tuesday at a data transparency conference hosted by the Data Foundation. She joined White House Office of American Innovation Director of Strategic Initiatives Chris Liddell in reaffirming the Trump administration’s support for open data initiatives. “One of our greatest challenges is also our greatest opportunity,” said Liddell at the conference. “How to unleash the power of data to create a more efficient and effective government for all citizens.”

Both officials cited the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, or DATA Act, as a solid start to the long-term goal of making federal information more accessible. The 2014 legislation mandated that agencies organize spending data in a standard, machine-readable format. The Office of Management and Budget and Treasury Department led efforts to bring agencies onto the new standard and created a public-facing site that taxpayers can use to see where their dollars are going...