• Increasing Public Access to Federal Contract Information – Reinvigorating the Data Access Act: Center for Regulatory Effectiveness in Science Magazine

    WASHINGTON, May 30, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Data Quality Act continues to be used by the public to correct erroneous information disseminated by the Federal government. However, its companion legislation goes virtually unnoticed because OMB under the Clinton Administration emasculated the statute by prescribing overly restrictive regulations which were infinitely more limiting than required by statute.

    The Data Access Act states that federal agencies must make available to the public all research and underlying data developed under a federal award. The term “all” means all; OMB in its implementing regulations stated, however, that the only reports covered by the Data Access Act were those reports which carry the “force and effect of law”, meaning only those reports which change one’s legal rights — a tiny fraction of the reports which were to be covered by the Act.

    No legislation is needed to correct this problem; the Obama Administration in accord with its Open Government Initiative should direct OMB to modify its regulations to bring them into compliance with the Data Access Act.

    The Center for Regulatory Effectiveness proposed that Congress pass the Data Quality and Data Access Acts’ see CENTER FOR REGULATORY EFFECTIVENESS: Data Access – House Initiates Action on Data Access

    An article in the current online edition of Science Magazine published by the AAAS contains a discussion of this issue.

    Access to federal contract data will become increasingly more important as the Obama Administration implements its Marine Spatial Planning program under the direction of the National Ocean Council.

    SOURCE Center for Regulatory Effectiveness


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