Federal Data Strategy promises to help government leverage ‘tremendous untapped potential’

The final draft of the strategy's Action Plan for 2019-2020 is expected to drop next month.
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According to Deputy Secretary of Commerce Karen Dunn Kelley, the troves of federal data collected and stored across government represent “tremendous untapped potential.”

The good news? Through laws like the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act and policy like the Federal Data Strategy, the government is starting to organize around taking advantage of this potential.

During her keynote remarks at ACT-IAC’s Imagine Nation Executive Leadership Conference in Philadelphia on Tuesday, Kelley walked attendees through the Federal Data Strategy and gave a bit of good implementation news — the final draft of the strategy’s Action Plan for 2019-2020 is expected to drop next month.

“The action plan lists a series of discreet actions for agencies, to align their data practice with practices and principles presented in the overall federal data strategy,” Kelley said. “And that will really try to help create that framework of consistency across the government.”


A draft of the year-one action plan was first released in June. It outlines 16 distinct actions across three sections — “shared actions,” “community actions” and agency-specific actions. Actions include things like tasking the General Services Administration to create a federal data ethics framework, the Office of Management and Budget to build a Data Council and more.

Some tasks in the plan come with tight timelines. Industry experts told FedScoop the plan is aggressive, but doable.

“It is aggressive, but it needs to be,” John DeSimone, vice president of cybersecurity and special missions at Raytheon‘s Intelligence, Information and Services business unit, told FedScoop in an email this summer. “We need to address this challenge head-on and aggressively if we are going to see real change that positively impacts our system availability levels.”

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