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December 17, 2015
Data Transparency News
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The latest
  • Dutch Government Envisions “Business Reporting in Zero Clicks”
  • Op-ed: 10 Ways to Capitalize on Transparency's Potential 
  • BackOffice Associates Explains Why the DATA Act Doesn't Require System Changes
  • Watch: Financial Transparency Act Briefing 

Dutch Government Envisions “Business Reporting in Zero Clicks”

Why does the Data Transparency Coalition support the adoption of consistent data formats, such as XBRL, throughout regulatory reporting? If regulatory agencies standardized the information they collect, software could automate reporting, replacing layers of lawyers with lines of code – and the cost of compliance would drop.

This is not science fiction. It’s already happening in the Netherlands, where, through the Standard Business Reporting program, the Dutch tax authority, lead business regulator, and statistical agency have adopted consistent data formats across their different reporting regimes. This means Dutch companies can comply with tax, business, and statistical reporting requirements automatically and electronically, using the same data.

We are grateful to the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration for permission to republish a speech by Rob Kuipers, Standard Business Reporting Commissioner of the Netherlands, delivered on September 8, 2015, at XBRL International in Copenhagen, Denmark. Mr. Kuipers’ speech explains how consistent data formats can dramatically reduce the cost of compliance for business and the cost of administration for government.

This is why we’re calling on Congress to pass the Financial Transparency Act to standardize financial regulatory reporting – and, in the future – similar reforms in other areas of regulation.

To read full speech by Commissioner Kuipers, click here

Op-ed: 10 Ways to Capitalize on Transparency's Potential 

By Dr. Paul Eder from the Center for Organizational Excellence and Hudson Hollister, Executive Director of the Data Transparency Coalition

Since President Obama signed the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act in May 2014, federal agencies have been hard at work implementing data standards and establishing a framework for increasing financial transparency by May 2017. The Office of Management and Budget and the Treasury Department are leading the effort.

The DATA Act requires two things. First, agencies must standardize information they report about their finances, grants and contracts, using common fields and formats established by OMB and Treasury. Second, once all the spending data has been standardized, Treasury and OMB will publish it on a much-expanded version of the USASpending.gov website. Meanwhile, a pilot program is under development to test whether the same standards should be applied to the information nonfederal grantees and contractors must report.

To continue reading the Government Executive op-ed, click here

BackOffice Associates Explains Why the DATA Act Doesn't Require System Changes

By Jason Ludwig

The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (DATA Act) was passed by Congress to make federal spending data more transparent and accessible – not just to citizens, but to internal users as well. The law requires the Treasury Department and the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), working together, to establish common data standards to govern financial and award information that all federal agencies must report. Most of this data will be published on the government’s main spending transparency portal, USAspending.gov, but the data standards cover agencies’ confidential spending information too, even if it is not to be published.

Alongside agencies’ spending reports, the DATA Act standards are also intended to cover the information that grantees and contractors receiving federal funds must report. But there is a crucial difference. While agencies must, under the law, standardize their information by May 2017, grantees and contractors don’t yet face a mandate. Instead, OMB will run a pilot program to determine whether the standards work properly for grantee and contractor reporting. This post focuses on the challenges facing agencies.

Continue reading the guest blog post here.

WATCH: Financial Transparency Act Briefing

Catch all the highlights from this month's Capitol Hill Financial Transparency Act briefing on WJLA's Government Matters. The briefing was hosted by Reps. Issa & Quigley. 

The bipartisan bill now boasts 29 cosponsors in the House of Representatives. The December 2 panel featured Allan Mendelowitz, Center for Data Innovation director Daniel Castro, and Sunlight Foundation senior policy analyst Matt Rumsey. All three praised the Financial Transparency Act.

Watch the Government Matters coverage here (begin at 3mins 40sec)! 

Watch the full video of the Financial Transparency Act briefing here
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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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