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June 16, 2016
Data Coalition News
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The latest:
  • SEC Announces Voluntary Inline XBRL Filings
  • Third Annual DATA Act Summit: A Critical Tipping Point Reached, but Big Challenges Remain to be Solved in 2017
  • Watch the Morning Sessions from DATA Act Summit 
  • Read Former OMB Director Shelley Metzenbaum's Keynote Speech from DATA Act Summit

SEC Announces Voluntary Inline XBRL Filings

Earlier this week the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it is allowing public companies to file their financial statements in the inline XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) open data format, effective immediately.

“The Data Coalition has been calling for this change for many years – most recently in our November 2015 comment letter on the SEC’s disclosure effectiveness initiative,” said Executive Director Hudson Hollister. “The SEC finally has a road map to move from today’s awkward half-modernized system to a reporting regime that runs on open data.”

The SEC first began requiring public companies to file open data financial statements in 2009, but it never stopped requiring the old-fashioned document version as well. As a result, public companies must submit the same information twice – once as a document, then again as open data. Duplicative filings distract agency staff, hinder broader modernization, and create unnecessary costs. But now, inline XBRL will allow companies to file once, instead of twice.

The SEC order does not require public companies to move from duplicative filings to a single inline XBRL filing, but only permits it. The order expires in 2020. The Financial Transparency Act, if passed by Congress and signed by the President, will advance this time frame by requiring the agency to move to inline XBRL faster, and make it permanent.

“We have just one criticism of today’s announcement,” said Hollister. “The SEC issued its legal order without first publishing the inline XBRL data structure for review by public companies and the software firms serving them. Instead, the agency issued the order and published the structure at the same time. We hope that in the future, the SEC follows the practices of agencies like the Treasury Department in its DATA Act implementation, and publishes proposed data formats in advance, before the legal directives for their use are issued.”

Third Annual DATA Act Summit: A Critical Tipping Point Reached, but Big Challenges Remain to be Solved in 2017

The DATA Act, the nation’s first open data law, hit two major milestones this May. Not only did it celebrate its two-year anniversary since being signed into law by President Obama on May 9th, 2014, but we are now seeing federal agencies, the White House, Congress, and the private sector embracing the law’s vision for government-wide spending transparency as a very real inevitability.

The Data Coalition’s third annual DATA Act Summit provided evidence of this critical tipping point. But the Summit also highlighted a number of challenges that must be solved in 2017 if the law’s full vision is to be ultimately realized.

On May 28th, over 450 attendees spent an entire day eagerly exploring the value of standardizing and publishing federal spending information as open data. The Summit’s conversations were technically informative, yet reached far beyond Washington, as #DATAActSummit trended nationally on Twitter throughout the day. Video of Summit sessions are now available here.

So who’s paying attention? Who are the stakeholders? Judging by the Summit’s participants, everybody.

Nearly every federal agency showed up to learn about what the law requires and how internal managers can benefit. Technology companies exhibited their latest solutions to republish, analyze, and automate federal data, once the DATA Act’s standards are put in place. Transparency advocates were excited by the prospect of more accurate, more complete spending information. And grantees and contractors explored how the law can automate their compliance. It was a significant day. 

Here’s what we learned... Continue reading the Coalition's latest blog here

DATA Act Summit Videos!

Last month, the Data Coalition held the third annual DATA Act Summit. The Coalition has published video from the morning sessions, watch here!
Videos include: 

Shelley Metzenbaum's Keynote Speech from DATA Act Summit

Former OMB Director, Shelley Metzenbaum delivered the closing keynote address at last month's DATA Act Summit. Metzenbaum spoke about the opportunities for improving data analytics.

The closing keynote touched on five main points:
  • Data and data analytics can reveal problems and opportunities for improvement.
  • Data can inform priority-setting and program design.
  • Data analytics can provide a quick read whether or not government actions are having the anticipated effect.
  • Good data sets, plus data from controlled trials, help determine if and how much government actions explain changes in performance trends.
  • Data can also suggest ways to reduce costs without compromising results.
Read the full speech here
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18F and USDS: A Beautiful Bipartisan Oversight Opportunity

Data Coalition Members


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Workiva
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RR Donnelley


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XBRL-US

 

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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