Between Federal, State, and Local Governments

Extend successful government data exchange models to improve federal-state-local data sharing

A key factor to enabling collaboration across federal, state and local governments -- and enabling reuse of associated regulatory and spending data to improve government operations -- is to get accurate and timely reports from the field in a format that is highly reusable on the web. This is a massive challenge, with tens of thousands of state and local government entities alone among the universe of potential organizations required to report regulatory or spending activity to the federal government.

The good news is that the federal government has tackled such reporting situations before -- in partnership with state and local governments -- and can adapt successful models to enable efficient and effective data collection and dissemination.

The federal government could build upon the successes of existing federal information exchange programs, such as the Environmental Protection Agency’s Central Data Exchange (CDX). The idea is to adapt free open source data exchange tools that the government already uses for other mission purposes to aggregate and publish the regulatory and spending data across multiple missions.

For example, EPA's CDX ( applies this approach with the help of open source gateway technology that helps states report data required by environmental regulations. This approach can be adjusted at relatively low cost to help collect and disseminate information on programs that span federal, state and local jurisdictions.

For additional information this idea in correlation to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, see the following:

National Dialogue on the Recovery Act:

Tackling Recovery Act Transparency:

Coverage from the

Cracking the Tough Nut of Recovery Act Reporting


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  1. Comment

    Better integration of data collection and reporting, and making that data more readily available to the public, is extremely important. However, there MUST be a commitment to adequately staff such an effort. I work for a state health department and am involved in investigations of public exposures to environmental contaminants. The data collection and analysis for my projects is a full time job. But we have no support staff, so in the past few years, I have had to take on additional responsabilities related to GIS, data management, webpage content development, revising existing materials to make them ADA compliant, etc. All are important, but mean less time for doing the core functions of my job. With a "no-new-taxes, smaller government" ideologue for a governor, there won't be any help coming from the state - so if the feds really want increased reporting and transparency, there's got to be federal $$ attached.