This edition of Data Transparency News reports on the yesterday's hearing in the House on SEC Enforcement; a DATA Act roadmap from new member Citizant; an exciting partnership from member Socrata and the Coalition's upcoming third Data Transparency Breakfast.

Data Transparency News

House Committee Tackles SEC Oversight – Including the Need for Better Open Data

The House Financial Services Committee's subcommittee on capital markets held a hearing about the oversight of the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s Division of Corporation Finance on Thursday. Testifying before the committee was Division of Corporation Finance (CorpFin) Director Keith Higgins. CorpFin is the division within the SEC that is in charge of collecting disclosures from public companies.

During the hearing, Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) brought up one of the Data Transparency Coalition’s top priorities: improving the quality of corporate financial data collected by the agency. "I'm a big advocate of your XBRL [eXtensible Business Reporting Language] system, in which companies file their financial statements in a standardized structured data format," Rep. Maloney told Mr. Higgins. "I believe it's the wave of the future ... I think you should be moving toward structured, computer readable financial statements."

Subcommittee chairman Scott Garrett (R-NJ) drove home the point that one of the mandates of the SEC is to divulge financial information in an easily accessible way to the public. Although it began to collect XBRL financial statements in 2009, the agency did not enforce the quality of that data, forcing investors and markets to rely instead on the old-fashioned document versions. After over a year of pressure from Congress, investors, and the tech industry, CorpFin announced some initial steps toward quality control earlier this month.
At the hearing, Rep. Robert Hurt (R-VA) cited his proposal, H. R. 4164, to direct the SEC to exempt public companies with revenues under $250 million – 61% of all U.S. public companies – from the obligation to file financial statements in the XBRL structured data format. The Coalition and tech companies using XBRL data to serve investors have criticized H.R. 4164, explaining that such a broad exemption might prevent the data quality problems from ever being resolved.
At the hearing, Rep. Hurt agreed he hopes to see the XBRL reporting requirement made "ready for prime time," but opined that the requirement isn't yet ready.
"Over the past year, through investigations, public statements, questions, and most recently yesterday’s hearing--Congress has made clear its intent for the future of securities regulation. The SEC must transform an unwieldy document-based disclosure system into an efficient, transparent one, based on standardized data. That means better quality control of existing data filings so investors can use them. It means getting rid of duplicative document-based reporting requirements like the paper versions the SEC collects alongside XBRL financial statements. And it means moving toward a shared data infrastructure for all information reported to the agency--eventually, all information reported to all financial regulators," said Hudson Hollister, Executive Director of the Data Transparency Coalition.
To see the whole hearing, visit the Committee’s website. The hearing starts after the 35-minute mark.
In case you missed it, the Coalition posted a blog that lays out the benefits of the SEC fully implementing XBRL data enforcement.
DTC’s Newest Member Releases First DATA Act Implementation White Paper

This week, the Data Transparency Coalition was thrilled to welcome the newest member, Citizant. Citizant has long been a leader in federal IT systems integration and implementation support and earlier this month published the first-ever white paper on federal DATA Act implementation.
The white paper,
An Agency-Specific Approach for DATA Act Readiness, is directed at the federal CIO community and serves a roadmap for agencies as DATA Act implementation begins. The paper also explains how the government-wide data standards adopted under the new law will allow federal agencies to improve data quality and enhance data-driven efforts to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse.
To get a copy of the full report, visit Citizant’s

Welcome Citizant!


Former CTO Chopra Discusses DATA Act

Did you miss former CTO Aneesh Chopra discussing the DATA Act with our friends at Government Technology? Aneesh told them that the DATA Act “is spot on.” and “it’s an example of a bipartisan commitment. “

Catch the rest of his comments here.


Coalition Member Socrata Announces Open Data Network

The Coalition believes the publication of government information as machine-readable data will create new private-sector industries, building new value and new businesses on such data. Coalition Member Socrata has just launched the Open Data Network, aimed at exactly that goal.

Socrata, a Seattle-based cloud software company focused exclusively on democratizing access to government data, announced the launch of the Open Data Network earlier this month. The Open Data Network, or ODN, will take a standards-based, industry-specific approach to streamline access to shareable, comparable, interoperable, and measurable data.

The ODN will bring together a vast and connected ecosystem of participants – governments that are open data publishers and consumers; businesses that incorporate and use government data; citizens; and civic developers and entrepreneurs who use open data to build service delivery apps. The Open Data Network will encompass 25-30 industries, each with its own unique and valuable data set.

The first Open Data Network industry to roll out is housing and real estate, with launch partners Zillow, SiteCompli, Civic Insight, Appallicious, BasicGov, Ontodia, DRiVEdecisions, and Buildingeye. The first three Socrata government customers to become members of the Open Data Network are the cities of San Francisco, Dallas, and Kansas City, Missouri.

Over time, the Open Data Network will continue to add industries, including financial, citizen services, public safety, health, environment, education and transportation. Eventually, each industry will become its own network as it adds legions of participants, and the Open Data Network, itself, will become a network of networks.

As the Coalition pursues open data mandates like the DATA Act, it hopes each reform may support a new open data industry--and a new ODN segment.

At the time of launch, the Open Data Network strives to:
  • Move From Digital Catalogs to Technology Platforms to Connected Networks
  • Open, Publish, and Contextualize Government Datasets
  • Support Network Standards To Make Open Data Sharable, Comparable, and Benchmarkable
  • Create a Three-Dimensional Approach to Government, where data drives data-driven government decisions, better citizen services, and positive economic impact.
Additional industry segments are to be rolled out in upcoming months. To learn more about the Open Data Network, visit the Socrata blog.

Have You Registered for the Data Transparency Breakfast?

Don't miss the Coalition's third Data Transparency Breakfast this Tuesday where experts from around the world will explore the most innovative transformations in government reporting. The breakfast is an opportunity for U.S. open government advocates to learn from the best use cases of open data reporting from around the world.  For more information, or to reserve a space, click here. Kindly presented by PwC.
DTC logo

July 25, 2014


Teradata Corporation
Research Data Group
RR Donnelley

Center for Organizational Effectiveness
Elder Research
Information Builders
IRIS Business Services
Level One Technologies
PR Newswire
StreamLink Software


Trade Association
Object Management Group 

Individual and Nonprofit
Bernadette Hyland, 3 Round Stones
Anthony Hodson, Accenture
Alexander Falk, Altova
Ryan Alfred, BrightScope
Oscar Hackett, BrightScope
Marty Loughlin, Cambridge Semantics
Suzanne Morsfield, Columbia Business School
Ron Lord, CompSci Resources
Aneet Kumar, EZ-XBRL
Eric Hopkins, Federal Filings
Adam Glass
Shannon Copeland, Hawkins Parnell Thackston & Young LLP
Anne Bini, Invoke
Herschel Chandler, IUI
Maryland Association of CPAs
Greg Bateman, Microsoft
Joseph Kull, PwC
Ann Rutledge, R&R Consulting
Sylvain Raines, R&R Consulting
Francis Burns, SC&H Group
Chad Sandstedt, TagniFi
Mark Bolgiano, Unissant
Shannon Copeland, WGSigma Systems


Mike Atkin
Greg Bateman
Gila Bronner
Craig Clay
Geoff Davis
Timothy Day
Earl Devaney
Jonathan Elliott
Eric Gillespie
Joel Gurin
Jim Harper
Don McCrory
Campbell Pryde
Mike Starr
Richard Soley

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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