In this issue:
  • Welcome to 2015
  • Setback for Financial Regulation Data Transparency
  • DTC brings on Development Director
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2015 is Going to be Another Great Year for Data Transparency

Welcome to the first issue of DTNews of 2015!
The year is off to a busy start for the Data Transparency Coalition. Financial data transparency hit the floor of the House of Representatives on its very first day of regular business. The Coalition, its members, open data supporters and a bipartisan group of forward-looking Members of Congress mobilized to oppose a measure that would exempt 60 percent of public companies from filing searchable financial data with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). We mustered a record number of votes in the House against the Hurt provision. Though it moves on to the Senate as part of the H.R. 37 financial package, we are not giving up.
The Coalition will host its first-ever Congressional fly-in on January 27 - and celebrate the third anniversary of its founding. Our members will meet with key members, committees, and staff to convey our message: government information should be published as standardized, searchable data.
This year we expand from two major policy events to three. Mark your calendars for the Financial Regulation Summit on March 24; DATA Act Summit and DATA Demo Day June 9-10; and Data Transparency 2015 on September 23. 
Last year we celebrated the passage of the DATA Act, the nation's first open data law. We are now working with both Congress and the executive branch for a successful implementation of the DATA Act, transforming the U.S. federal government's spending information from disconnected documents into standardized data. To bring together our efforts in financial regulation, federal spending, and elsewhere, we'll release our 2015 Data Transparency Agenda in the coming weeks.
We will push further and elevate our efforts in 2015. We’re thrilled to have you join us.
Happy new year!

A Setback for Data Transparency in Financial Regulation

The new Congress didn’t get off the to the start the Data Transparency Coalition wanted. On the first full day of business for the new Republican Congress, the House of Representatives barely fell short of passing a regressive piece of legislation that would have set back data transparency efforts in financial regulation. A second vote was held on Wednesday, which was successful by a vote of 271-154
H.R. 37, the “Promoting Job Creation and Reducing Small Business Burdens Act", includes Rep. Robert Hurt's Small Company Disclosure Simplification Act, which would exempt 60 percent of public companies from filing searchable financial data with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
During both votes, the opposition to the bill increased over the last time the Hurt bill came up for a vote. Members of Congress have expressed their appreciation to the financial transparency and open data community for the opposition mobilization.
“This bill will deal a major setback to data transparency in financial regulation if it becomes law. The primary purpose of the SEC is to oversee our capital markets to promote fair dealing and the disclosure of important market information, and to prevent fraud. The House of Representatives just approved a measure that will make that job harder,” said Hudson Hollister, Executive Director of the Data Transparency Coalition.
Here are the comments from Hudson Hollister following the vote:

"H.R. 37 would erect a permanent legal barrier to the transformation that is desperately needed at the SEC. Rep. Hurt is, unfortunately, quite right that the SEC has done a poor job of integrating data into its corporate disclosure system. The fact that the agency still collects two versions of each financial statement from public companies – once as a document and once as data - makes companies costs' higher than they should be. And because the agency has not fully enforced the quality of the data version, investors are finding the data difficult to use.
"But Congress should be directing the SEC to fix these problems - not simply eliminating data reporting altogether for most companies. If the SEC is forced to stop collecting searchable data from the majority of public companies, it will be unable to use data tools to illuminate potential fraud and protect investors.
"As the bill moves on to the Senate, we will work tirelessly to alert Senators to the wide-ranging ramifications of the Hurt provision and the damaging affect it will have on data transparency in financial regulation. We'll ask that they stop the regressive action that H.R. 37 puts in motion.
"We want to thank Representatives Issa (R-CA), Ellison (D-MN) and Polis (D-CO) for fighting to split the Hurt provision from the overall bill and the rest of the members who voted against this step backward for data transparency. We are disappointed in today's result, but believe Congress will ultimately support data transparency in financial regulation, just as it has done already for federal spending with last year's unanimously-passed DATA Act. ”
Rep. Hurt has claimed that smaller public companies are spending "tens of thousands of dollars" each year to comply with this reporting requirement. According to a study released this week by the American Institute of CPAs, the actual median cost to small publicly traded companies is $8,000.
New DTC Blog!
DTC Adds Director of Development

The DTC is thrilled to announce that Nicholas Jeffress has joined the Data Transparency Coalition as the new Director of Development. Nick joins the team from a very successful career in political fundraising and issue advocacy.

Nick will be focusing on working with DTC members and bringing new members into the Coalition.

Nick is a native of Virginia and a graduate of Virginia Tech University.

Nick can be reached via email.

Welcome Aboard Nick!
AICPA Study: Open Data Costs

The smart folks at the American Institute of CPAs released a study this week entitled
"Research Shows XBRL Filing Costs Lower than Expected"

Get the study here.
More Data Transparency News
VIDEO: Hudson Hollister at Socrata's Customer Summit talks about......

The DATA Act – 6 Months in: How This landmark Legislation is Transforming Government Spending


Teradata Corporation
Research Data Group
RR Donnelley


Accenture Federal
Booz Allen Hamilton
Center for Organizational Effectiveness
CGI Federal
Elder Research
Information Builders
IRIS Business Services
Level One Technologies
PR Newswire
StreamLink Software

3 Round Stones

Trade Association
Object Management Group 

About Us

The Data Transparency Coalition advocates on behalf of the private sector and the public interest for the publication of government information as standardized, machine-readable data. Data transparency strengthens democratic accountability, enhances government management, reduces compliance costs, and stimulates innovation.
Copyright © 2015 Data Coalition, All rights reserved.

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