September 22, 2016
Data Coalition News
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The latest:
  • House Financial Services Committee Approves Anti-Open Data Proposal … Again
  • DATA Act Training Program!
  • Member Spotlight: Zenius Issues New White Paper on Federal Grants Management
  • Listen: Rep. Hultgren on Financial Transparency Act (HR 2477)

House Financial Services Committee Approves Anti-Open Data Proposal … Again

In March 2014, the House Financial Services Committee first embraced a proposal to exempt most companies from the obligation to file open-data financial statements with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The committee has voted to approve the proposal many times – sometimes as a stand-alone bill, but more often as part of larger legislative packages.

This happened again on September 13th. But it doesn’t mean that open data reporting at the SEC is in immediate danger.

The proposal, originally introduced as the stand-alone Small Company Disclosure Simplification Act by Rep. Robert Hurt (R-VA), would direct the SEC to exempt all public companies with revenues at or below $250 millions from its requirement to file financial statements in the XBRL open data format. Rep. Hurt claimed the XBRL filing requirement costs companies too much –as much as $50,000 per year. A study by the non-profits XBRL US and the American Institute of CPAs shows that isn’t true. The median cost for small companies is $8,000.

Continue reading the Coalition's latest blog post here.

DATA Act Training Program on September 29th: Hands-On Insights for Open Data in Spending

Next Thursday, September 29th, from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm, the Data Foundation will present its DATA Act Training Program at The Loft at 600 F. Registration is open for federal financial management, program management, procurement, and assistance professionals.

By replacing disconnected documents and siloed databases with standardized, open data, the DATA Act of 2014 promises better transparency, data-driven internal management, and automated compliance - but only with successful implementation.

The DATA Act Training Program is the best way to learn implementation. Faculty include Deputy Assistant Secretary of the TreasuryChristina Ho, former Fiscal Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Dick Gregg, Small Business Administration deputy CFO Tim Gribben, and White House OMB Deputy Controller Mark Reger (invited).

Sessions will include a demonstration of the Treasury Department's DATA Act Broker, discussions on how standardized spending data empowers management and transparency, and a preview of Treasury's future plans for data-centric federal finance. The syllabus is available here.

For more on what to expect at the DATA Act Training Program, view the syllabus and videos from last May's program.
Register here!

Member Spotlight: Zenius Issues New White Paper on Federal Grants Management

 “Grants transparency benefits the American people— for greater government accountability, optimized grant performance, and reduced waste and overhead, freeing up more tax dollars for grants use."
-- Danny Harris, former CIO, US Department of Education
The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (DATA Act) represents a historical move toward increased government openness and accountability. Many challenges stand in the way of DATA Act compliance, particularly in the area of federal grants issuance and management, including outdated legacy systems or the absence of an automated grants management process. Success will depend on the modernization and improvement of existing systems, or innovation and discipline applied to new systems, under development.

Zenius Corporation, a HUBZone-certified, Minority-Owned Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) firm, and Data Coalition member, has published a white paper outlining the attributes and approaches needed to launch a powerful end-to-end lifecycle of grants management, to comply with evolving legislation. The white paper suggests automated grants management systems have the added benefit of reducing costs and streamlining processes, freeing up more grants dollars for citizen-directed benefit. Zenius Corporation will be exhibiting at next week’s Data Transparency 2016 (DT2016), Washington's largest-ever open data event, and will be available to discuss their white paper and federal grants management.

Read the full white paper here.

Listen: Rep. Hultgren on Improving Financial Transparency with Machine-readable Documents

Earlier this year Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL) published an op-ed in The Guardian US. The op-ed makes the case for U.S. financial regulators to begin collecting public companies regulatory financial filings in a machine-readable format such as XBRL. Rep. Hultgren urged his colleagues to cosponsor the Financial Transparency Act (HR 2477). 

In a recent radio interview with Federal News Radio, Rep. Hultgren elaborated on his op-ed and discussed how U.S. financial regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) still collect regulatory filings as plain-text documents. This is problematic because when regulators collect and disclose information as documents, they create substantially more work for those who want to use it - investors, markets, tech companies, and even the regulators' own staff.

If regulatory financial filings were submitted using a standardized data format it would make filings more transparent, useful, and efficient – for everyone who generates, collects, and uses the information they contain. 

Listen to the full radio interview here.
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Data Coalition Members

Research Data Group
RR Donnelley

Booz Allen Hamilton
MorganFranklin Consulting
StreamLink Software

BackOffice Associates
Center for Organizational Excellence
CGI Federal
Elder Research
Global IDs
Grant Thornton
Information Builders
IRIS Business Services
Merrill Corporation
PR Newswire

BCL Technologies
Gov-PATH Solutions
Vintun LLC
Zenius Corporation

Trade Association
Object Management Group 


About Us

The Data Coalition advocates on behalf of the private sector and the public interest for the publication of government information as standardized, open data.
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