In 1999 the US Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 was amended to require Federal awarding agencies to ensure that all data produced under an award will be made available to the public through the procedures established under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
Government funding agencies implement this requirement in various ways. Here are some basic guidelines driven by the major funders. Several journals and publishers are recognizing the need to cite data in articles and have open data policies.
National Science Foundation
Proposals submitted or due on or after January 18, 2011 must include a supplementary document of no more than two pages labeled “Data Management Plan”. This supplementary document should describe how the proposal will conform to NSF policy on the dissemination and sharing of research results. See Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) Chapter II.C.2.j for full policy implementation.
National Institutes of Health
For most grants over $500,000, a data sharing plan must be included in application and incorporated as a term and condition of the award. Final Research Data "should be made as widely and freely available as possible while safeguarding the privacy of participants, and protecting confidential and proprietary data".
Department of Energy
The Office of Science mission is to deliver the scientific discoveries and major scientific tools that transform our understanding of nature and advance the energy, economic, and national security of the United States. The Office of Science Statement on Digital Data Management has been developed with input from a variety of stakeholders in this mission.
Here, data management involves all stages of the digital data life cycle including capture, analysis, sharing, and preservation. The focus of this statement is sharing and preservation of digital research data.
"NASA promotes the full and open sharing of all data with the research and applications communities, private industry, academia, and the general public. The greater the availability of the data, the more quickly and effectively the user communities can utilize the information to address basic Earth science questions and provide the basis for developing innovative practical applications to benefit the general public."
National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration
"The Federal Ocean Data Policy requires that appropriate ocean data and related information collected under federal sponsorship be submitted to and archived by designated national data centers."
National Endowment for the Humanities
Applicants should prepare a data management plan for their project. The plan should describe how the project team will manage and disseminate data generated or collected by the project. For example, projects in this category may generate data such as software code, algorithms, digital tools, reports, articles, research notes, or websites. NEH realizes that many institutions apply to both NEH and NSF, so it has made its data management plan requirement identical to NSF’s.
Environmental Protection Agency
Non-specific to sharing, rather, ensures "a basic standard of quality, including objectivity, utility, and integrity".
See a full list of government funding agencies and search their current opportunities at Grants.gov.