After approval of some new amendments to exempt financial data and smaller agencies, H.R. 4174–the OPEN Government Data Act–passed both the House and the Senate on Friday and headed to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law.

The bill initially passed the House in November 2017 and passed the Senate on Dec. 19, but while resolving differences between the Senate and House versions, both chambers agreed to narrow the act’s applicability to CFO Act agencies instead of all executive branch agencies, and to exempt from the legislation data on monetary policy.

The bipartisan bill, which passed through the House and Senate easily, is expected to be signed into law by the President.

The bill requires agencies to

  • Create a comprehensive, machine-readable inventory of agency data within one year;
  • Submit their data inventory and real-time updates to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for a Federal data catalog;
  • Cement the position of Chief Data Officer into law at each agency;
  • Include data and methods that the agency intends to use or collect in the agency’s strategic plan;
  • Create a list of policy-relevant questions that the agency plans to answer with data;
  • Create a Federal Chief Data Officer Council; and
  • Follow upcoming Office of Personnel Management (OPM) guidance on establishing a new occupational series and career path for program evaluation
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MeriTalk Staff