November 4, 2013 The Honorable Tom Carper Chairman Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee United States

Senate Washington, DC 20510 The Honorable Tom Coburn Ranking Member Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee United States Senate Washington, DC 20510

RE: S. 994 – The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2013 Dear Chairman Carper and Ranking Member Coburn: On behalf of the more than 394,000 members of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), I am writing to thank you for your leadership in cosponsoring the amendment to S. 994, the “Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2013,” and for scheduling it for consideration by the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee at the business meeting on November 6, 2013. Section 4 of the bill includes provisions calling for the “Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Administrator of General Services, and the heads of Federal agencies” to “establish Government-wide financial data standards for Federal funds, which shall include common data elements for financial and payment information required to be reported by Federal agencies and entities receiving Federal funds.” We strongly support this section of the bill. We believe that reporting federal spending using nonproprietary, platform-independent data standards, as called for in the bill, will enhance transparency for policymakers and citizens alike. Gone are the days of sole-source computer software that require substantial investments in equipment and payments to vendors to access information. This legislation will allow the Congress, Federal agencies, and the American public to understand, analyze, and communicate where taxpayer dollars are spent using low cost, readily-available tools. Importantly, the benefits of using data tagging for Federal financial and performance information will enhance the accuracy and transparency of that data, resulting in better, more informed decisions. We believe that this bill is another critical step forward to improving decision-making around effective government spending. We are also happy to discuss with you additional areas where implementation of data standards can further enhance reporting and make it more valuable to all types of stakeholders of data. If you have any questions, or if we can be of any further assistance, please feel free to Diana Huntress Deem at 202.434.9276 or ddeem@aicpa.org. Thank you for your consideration of this important legislation. Sincerely,

Barry C. Melancon, CPA, CGMA President and CEO cc: Members of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee

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