White House, Congress Set New Laws to Improve Data Access Across Gov’t

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Lawmakers and the White House have advanced a set of bills that would require federal agencies to improve their public websites and digital services in 2019, Nextgov reported Friday. 

President Trump in the past week signed two bills into laws that separately require agencies to improve the accessibility, security and ease of use of public websites and require the Department of Homeland Security to put all its data into a single system to improve access to information.

All agencies have one year to update their websites. One of the new laws also include determining in-person and paper-based services across the government that could be digitized.

House and Senate lawmakers also passed other data-related bills including the SECURE Technology Act that combines three other legislations aimed at strengthening cyber defense of DHS and the federal supply chain. 

The bill would launch DHS’ first enterprise-wide bug bounty program, establish a vulnerability disclosure program with the industry and form a federal council to assess potential cyber risks in the government’s supply chain.

The OPEN Government Data Act also passed both the House and Senate, which would support evidence-based policymaking. 

The bill would require agencies to disclose all non-sensitive data and appoint a chief data officer to oversee the effort.

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