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Seattle Celebrates DATA Act Anniversary

Last week, City of Seattle staff joined leaders from across the country in Washington, D.C. to celebrate and reflect on the tenth anniversary of the federal Digital Accountability and Transparency (DATA) Act. This event was hosted by the Bloomberg Center for Government Excellence at Johns Hopkins University for lawmakers, policy experts, and city stakeholders across the United States.

The DATA Act was our nation’s first open-data legislation, signed into law on May 9, 2014. The act requires the publication of federal spending data for public view. This landmark legislation paved the way for open data programs across the country, including Seattle’s own Open Data Policy implemented in 2016. Today, Seattle has over 1,000 data sets available on, including budget information, real-time 911 call data, building permits, and many more.

A core requirement of the DATA act was the development of government-wide data standards to ensure the reporting of reliable, consistent federal spending data for public use, resulting in one of the most significant efforts for government transparency in the world. At the celebration, a panel of key implementation champions including Ed Deseve, former Special Advisor to President Barack Obama, offered insights on how the data strategy was developed and the collaboration needed to map siloed systems, publish better data, and build trust with the public.

As part of Mayor Harrell’s One Seattle Data Strategy, Seattle IT and Innovation & Performance are leading efforts to continue driving better data transparency, communication, and connection with community members. In support of the effort, the City is working to publish even more and better Open Data sources and to make it easy for City staff and community members to leverage the power of available data.  

Innovation & Performance’s Leah Tivoli and Steve Barham joined the DATA Act event to network and learn about open data, data strategies, and civic projects happening around the country. Presentations covered topics such as realizing the potential of open data and AI, how the first open data strategy was developed, the future of the federal data policy, and more.

Learn more about Seattle’s One Seattle Data Strategy and our Open Data Program.