FEDweek

Information Sharing Bill, Others Advance

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has approved a bill (HR-4147) incorporating prior open government proposals and the recommendations of a commission on improving government policy decisions through better information. “The legislation acts on the commission’s findings to establish a more secure, transparent, and efficient data system that will help federal agencies better assess the effectiveness of their programs,” sponsors said in a statement.

The measure would require agencies to: establish a data inventory and federal data catalog; submit an evidence-building plan, to be consolidated into one government-wide plan by OMB; and designate a chief evaluation officer to coordinate evidence-building activities as well as a chief data officer. It also would establish an advisory committee on data for evidence building and set new data privacy standards.

The committee also approved:

HR-1132, to bar former political appointees from taking career civil service positions within two years after leaving the political position;
HR-4043, to make permanent whistleblower protection ombudsmen, to be redesignated “coordinators,” in agency IG offices to educate agency employees about those laws and help those who suffer retaliation understand their rights;
HR-4171, to extend by three years, through 2020, authority for agencies to conduct telework travel expense test programs; and
HR-4177, aimed at improving the government’s preparedness for extreme weather events.