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In this issue:
  • The Case for Open Data in Corporate Disclosure
  • Upcoming DTC Events
  • Open Data Could Improve Access to the Great Outdoors
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The Coalition Registers Opposition to H.R. 5405 with the Senate

In a letter to the leadership of the Senate Banking Committee, Data Transparency Coalition Executive Director Hudson Hollister began the campaign to stop H.R. 5405 in the Senate. The package of legislation, which the House of Representatives passed on Sept. 16, includes Rep. Robert Hurt's proposal to eliminate most open data reporting to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. As Election Day nears, the Coalition seeks to persuade the Senate Banking Committee not to consider the legislation during its "lame duck" session before the end of the 113th Congress.

Hollister wrote that, if passed, the provision will setback the push for transparency in financial regulation and put the United States on a path away from the global financial community.

"The Small Company Disclosure Simplification Act expresses the House’s justified frustration with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) slow progress in transforming its disclosure system. But by forbidding the SEC from requiring financial statements to be filed in the eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) data format, the proposal would impede future progress. Market disclosure should not be forced backward from open data to disconnected documents."

The letter to Chairman, Senator Tim Johnson and Ranking Member, Senator Mike Crapo goes on to say, "Unfortunately, U.S. financial regulators, especially the Securities and Exchange Commission, lag behind much of the developed world in replacing document-based reports with open data. The SEC collects hundreds of different types of submissions from public companies, investment companies, investment advisers, exchanges, and other market participants. With some exemptions, the agency collects most of these disclosures as documents, not as standardized data. If the SEC followed longstanding staff and investor recommendations  that it replace all of its existing document-based forms with structured data reports, investors would enjoy more immediate access to information needed to make investment decisions. The SEC could deploy data analytics to find indicators of potential fraud and better police the capital markets. Corporate filers could use software to automate compliance tasks, replacing manual labor with automatic processes."

The full text of the letter can be found here.
Upcoming DTC Events
 
Register Today for the Next Data Transparency Breakfast!
December 8 - Federal Financial Management and the DATA Act
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Open Data Leaders Meet Up
November 19 - Inaugural Meeting Featuring Data.gov Team
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Open Data Could Improve Access to the Great Outdoors


Our Coalition focuses on pursuing open data in two key areas of the U.S. government's information: federal spending and financial regulation. We think transforming these two areas from disconnected documents into open data will create huge benefits for government and society.
 
Not everybody agrees that government information is most valuable when it's published online as machine-readable data. In both our key areas, supporters of data standardization and publication have had to overcome entrenched opposition.
 
Would you believe the same is true of the U.S. government's camping information? It is.
 
On October 8, the United States Forest Service posted a draft Request for Proposal (RFP) for “Recreation One Stop Support Services (R1S).” The draft RFP seeks a private contractor to build software for a new reservation system covering campsites, cabins, and tours at all federal parks. The contract will span up to 11 years, over $1 billion in revenue, and critically define how our nation will access public lands for years to come.
 
As written, the draft RFP places a single contractor in charge of managing campsite availability and reservation information rather than releasing all that information as open data.
 
If campsite availability and reservations were published as open data, entrepreneurs could build competing platforms to help campers make reservations and advocates could track campsite use. These are the types of innovations envisioned in President Obama’s May 2013 Open Data Policy, which pushes all agencies to “default to open.”

Read the rest at the DTC Blog.
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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 © 2014 Data Coalition, All rights reserved.


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