March 24, 2017
Data Coalition News
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The latest: 
  • Data Coalition’s Executive Director Testifies before House Committee on the OPEN Government Data Act
  • Financial Transparency Act Re-introduced
  • Recap: Financial Data Summit 2017

Data Coalition’s Executive Director Testifies before House Committee on the OPEN Government Data Act

Yesterday the Data Coalition’s Executive Director, Hudson Hollister, testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, at a hearing titled “Legislative Proposals for Fostering Transparency.” The hearing covered three legislative proposals, the Fannie & Freddie Open Records Act of 2017, the OPEN Government Data Act, and the Federal Reserve Transparency Act

Hudson's testimony focused on the OPEN Government Data Act (H.R. 5051, S. 2852 in the 114th Congress), which would set the presumption that all non-restricted government information should be published in open, machine-readable formats. The Data Coalition has supported this broad open data mandate.

Last December, at the end of the 114th Congress, the Senate unanimously passed the OPEN Government Data Act - the bill has not yet passed in the House.

Key moment: Chairman Chaffetz's exchange with Hudson Hollister on the DUNS Number.

Chairman Chaffetz: "If you can explain in layman's terms how the DUNS Number works... because things [contractors] are given a code... that system is owned by Dun & Bradstreet. Could you explain that to us, how that works and what it costs the taxpayer to do?"

Hudson Hollister: "In the 1990's the General Services Administrations contracted with Dun & Bradstreet to track federal contractors government-wide.... now that's pretty normal as far as federal practices goes. What's unique is that the contract doesn't just give Dun & Bradstreet the ownership of the system that's used to track the contractors. It also gives Dun & Bradstreet an interest in the identification code itself. This means that nobody can use the informations that's encoded using that number unless they purchase a license from Dun & Bradstreet. Now the federal government has a government-wide license... But it doesn't apply to citizens, researchers and journalists. They can't download and analyze information about federal spending unless they purchase a license from Duns & Bradstreet... That means they pay for information twice..."

Chairman Chaffetz: "That's something we need to spend more time on because it is quite a monopoly... I think we have a good bill [OPEN Government Data Act] to tackle it [DUNS Number]."

Watch the full hearing here

Read Hudson Hollister's full testimony here

Financial Transparency Act Re-introduced

Last Wednesday, twenty-eight Members of the House of Representatives, led by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), reintroduced the Financial Transparency Act (H.R. 1530). If enacted, the Financial Transparency Act would be the nation’s first RegTech law. 

The bill would modernize the U.S. financial regulatory reporting process from unstructured documents into fully searchable, standardized, and machine-readable data. The bipartisan proposal directs the eight major U.S. financial regulatory agencies to adopt consistent data fields and formats for the information that they already collect from the private sector under existing securities, commodities, and banking laws.

“Passing the Financial Transparency Act would be a milestone for data transparency and the openness of public information," said Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA). “What my previous legislation, the DATA Act, is doing to open up government spending through online, searchable and freely accessible data, the Financial Transparency Act would do for financial reporting information.  Financial reporting often relies on cumbersome – and duplicative – paper or PDF reports that make it difficult for regulators and the public to track down the information they need. By updating the process to an open data standard for the information already reported to the nation’s eight financial regulatory agencies, we’ll be able to reduce regulatory burdens on businesses, give the public and investors better access to information, and boost our ability to find, and prevent, instances of fraud.”

Continue reading the Data Coalition's press release here

Recap: Financial Data Summit 2017

From left to right: Craig Clay of Donnelley Financial Solutions, Rep. Randy Hultgren, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Hudson Hollister of the Data Coalition, and Rep. Darrell Issa. 

Reps. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), and Randy Hultgren (R-IL) headlined our third annual Financial Data Summit last week – and their new proposal in Congress is going to transform financial regulatory reporting.

Together with 26 other bipartisan Members of Congress, Reps. Issa, Maloney, and Hultgren introduced the Financial Transparency Act in the House of Representatives. The Financial Transparency Act directs all eight major financial regulatory agencies to adopt standardized data formats for all the information they collect from the private sector.

The financial industry is ready to embrace data standards as the way to reduce compliance costs, through automation. JP Morgan managing director Robin Doyle, appearing alongside representatives of the the American Bankers Association, and CFA Institute, told our audience that if financial regulators adopt the standardized Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) as the universal identification code for the companies and firms they regulate, banks will be able to track and report their counterparties and transactions more cheaply. The Financial Transparency Act makes it mandatory for the 8 major regulators to settle on a single identification code, replacing today’s jungle of dozens.

Continue reading the Data Coalition's blog here.


DATA Act Training, June 8: On June 8, the Data Foundation will host its third DATA Act Training Day! The intensive full day training will take a deep dive into the first-ever DATA Act data set. The Training Day will be an opportunity to see first-hand how the Treasury Department is utilizing the federal spending data set. Attendees will learn what insights Treasury and other agencies are discovering from the data set.  Join us in the classroom! Register here
DATA Act Summit, June 28: 2017 is a momentous year for technology in government. By May, the U.S. executive branch will begin publishing its spending information as standardized and open data under a deadline set by the DATA Act.

The Data Coalition's fourth annual DATA Act Summit will be an opportunity to experience the transformation of federal spending from disconnected documents into useful data. We will bring together the Congressional allies and administration officials who are driving these changes; the agency leaders who are using newly-standardized data to derive new insights; the nonprofit advocates who are supporting data-driven accountability; and the technology companies whose solutions are doing the work. Register here.

Data Coalition Members

Research Data Group
Donnelley Financial Solutions

Booz Allen Hamilton
MorganFranklin Consulting
StreamLink Software

Center for Organizational Excellence
CGI Federal
Elder Research
Grant Thornton
Information Builders
PR Newswire

Notice and Comment

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.
Copyright © 2017 Data Coalition, All rights reserved.

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