CD054: Hidden Data Act

CD054: Hidden Data Act

Nov 22, 2013

A bill marketed as for “transparency” appears to keep information secret from the public and gut an oversight board. Taxpayers treat a group of Representatives to an expensive Summer getaway. Cocaine.

HR 2061: “The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA) of 2013” passed the House of Representatives 388-1 on Monday, November 12, 2013.

Section 3: The following information would be published on the website:

Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 4.09.37 PMA “pilot program” will “consolidate reports” that agencies and companies who receive Federal money must turn in: Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 4.18.50 PMThe agencies and companies allowed into the pilot program must be worth at least $1 billion total; there’s no limit to the number of participants. Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 4.25.08 PMThe Recovery Board would start investigating the Inspectors General:

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Section 5: Expands the amount of information that can be kept secret:

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  • Section 5 of the DATA Act changes it to say:

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Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 4.46.38 PM Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 4.47.06 PM Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 4.47.31 PM

  • Some information from the Privacy Act of 1974 that the DATA Act would keep secret from the public is:

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  • The information from the US Tax Code that the DATA Act would keep secret from the public is:

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The Recovery Board investigates companies that are given government money – “recipients”.

Rep. Darrell Issa, House Floor, November 18, 2013.

Quote by Rep. Darrell Issa, House Floor, November 18, 2013.

  • The DATA Act extends the Recovery Board but lets its functions and website expire six weeks from now:

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H.R. 313- which passed the House in May 2013- is attached to the end of the DATA Act.

  • Limits spending on conferences to $500,000.
  • Extraordinarily detailed reports required for conferences over $10,000.
  • Cuts agencies’ travel budget by at least 30%.

Congressional Travel Expenses

Five Representatives and two staffers took a $179,938 six-day all expense paid-by-taxpayers trip to Singapore and Australia in Summer 2013. Singapore Australia trip 2 Representatives Discussed in This Episode

Rep. Rush Holt of New Jersey was the only Representative to vote against the DATA Act.

As a scientist, I know firsthand how important scientific conferences and meetings are.  I opposed H.R. 2061, the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, because it would cut by 30 percent the amount of travel federal employees could undertake for conferences, meetings, and other crucial events. – Rep. Rush Holt

Rep. Henry “Trey” Radel of Florida is on a leave of absence due to his proven cocaine habit.

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Rep. Darrell Issa represents California’s 49th district

Rep. Darrell Issa of California was the main author of the DATA Act.

Representatives Quoted in this Episode

Additional Information

Sunlight Foundation blog in support of HR 2061


Intro and Exit Music: Tired of Being Lied To by David Ippolito (found on Music Alley by mevio)

Dirty Little Secret by 54 Seconds (found on Music Alley by mevio)

Cocaine by Eric Clapton


Watch Chasing Ice

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