In this issue:
  • Treasury official calls for universal LEI use by the Feds
  • DATA Act: OMB and Treasury release first data elements
  • Recap of a fantastic Data Breakfast with Federal CFOs
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The Data Transparency Coalition wishes you happy holidays and a great start to the new year! See you in January!

OMB, Treasury Release First Set of DATA Act Data Elements

On Monday December 1st,  Treasury and OMB released 58 DATA Act data elements on their Federal Spending Transparency github siteThese 58 data elements make up the core of information that will be standardized and published under the DATA Act.

At the Coalition's final Data Breakfast of the year, this past Monday, OMB's Deputy Controller Mark Reger made some interesting comments regarding the data elements. Reger indicated that this is just the first iteration of the list of data elements and that the final version should be expanded to cover the full range of federal financial reporting information, as mandated by the DATA Act. Reger went on to say that the input from data transparency consultants, contractors, and data specialists will be sought out.

The Data Transparency Coalition will continue watching and recommending improvements. Make sure to check out the newly released data elements here and the Coalition's new infographic explaining DATA Act 101 here.

Treasury Official Calls for Universal Adoption of LEI – We agree!

In a speech at the 2014 Financial Stability Conference last week in Washington, the Director of the Office of Financial Research at Treasury, Dick Berner, called for universal adoption of Legal Entity Identifiers (LEI) throughout the federal government.
During his remarks Mr. Berner said, “Mandating use of the LEI for regulatory reporting is needed to overcome obstacles to adoption. That is why the OFR and the Council have been calling for regulators to require use of the LEI in regulatory reporting. Ditto for other data standards, as they become available.”  
Mr. Berner made the case that usable, transparent data can be a game-changer and could have been extremely useful during the 2007-2008 financial crisis. “Standards are needed to produce high-quality data. And high-quality data are essential for effective risk management in financial companies.”
He went on to say, “Had the LEI system been in place in 2008, the industry, regulators, and policymakers would have been better able to trace Lehman’s exposures and connections across the financial system. The LEI system also generates efficiencies for financial companies in internal reporting, risk management, and in collecting, cleaning, and aggregating data. I expect it will reduce companies’ regulatory reporting burdens by reducing — and eventually eliminating — overlap and duplication.”
The Data Transparency Coalition couldn’t agree more and will be pursuing the adoption of LEI as part of our agenda. Getting rid of proprietary identifiers (including dumping DUNS) is a crucial requirement of full data transparency across the federal government.
Dick Berner’s entire speech is worth a read. You can find it here. Here’s a link to the OFR's full 2014 annual report that Mr. Berner references.
Ohio has put out a fantastic spending transparency tool. Check out Ohio's Online Checkbook!

Final Data Breakfast of 2014: Federal CFOs Take on the DATA Act Transformation

It was standing room only on Monday for the final installment of this year’s Data Transparency Breakfast series, presented by PwC, exploring the impact of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act) and similar reforms across government.
For the first time, we were joined by the federal financial officers who will be responsible, under the DATA Act, for applying government-wide data standards to make federal spending information fully searchable, interoperable, and open to all. Our panel—Dorrice Roth, Deputy CFO, Treasury; Sheila Conley, Deputy CFO, HHS; Mark Reger, Deputy Controller, OMB; and Stacy Marcott, Deputy CFO, DHS—explored the challenges and opportunities of this transformation.
The hour-long panel session was packed with insight—perspectives on how the DATA Act will benefit agencies’ internal management, what the current focus of implementation should be, deadline concerns, new business opportunities for the private sector, and more. We’ve outlined our key takeaways below – and you can check Twitter for the play-by-play.
Government-wide data standards for federal spending should allow agencies to improve internal management—without forcing them to redesign or replace their systems.
OMB’s Reger put it this way: "We’ve got to use data as a management tool and we've got to make the data we're collecting valuable to the people who collect the data. The DATA Act is a new orientation for federal government management." Each federal financial manager represented had a unique take on how standardized data would help their agency better manage itself.

To read the rest of the recap, go to the DTC blog.

The Data Transparency Coalition's First Partner Member - DataTracks

DataTracks is a global leader in helping enterprises and other entities prepare financial statements in iXBRL and XBRL formats for aggregation into data depositories by regulators. 

DataTracks counts more than 20,000 clients in USA, UK, Germany, Austria, Ireland, Singapore and India prepare their financial statements as “structured data”.  DataTracks has helped these clients prepare more than 80,000 statements in iXBRL and XBRL formats in the last ten years.
DataTracks offers a cloud based software application that can be accessed by several users to collaborate together to create documents; connect these documents to data depositories (that extract data automatically from transaction processing systems and personal spreadsheets) and facilitate computing and interlinking data within a word processor layer to provide consistent reliable data in an elegant rendering.
DataTracks leads the XBRL Cloud league tables in providing error free XBRL statements among the various service providers in United States.
DataTracks helps its clients prepare XBRL statements in a “minds on hands off” manner.  Users have full control over preparation of the reports and yet can count, at no extra cost, on DataTracks to ensure accurate tagging by expert accountants.
DataTracks is proud of its role as a member of the Data Coalition in evangelizing reporting as data (instead of as documents) to promote quick acquisition of insight by citizens and transparency in reports by those accountable for performance.

New Coalition Membership Level

The Partner Membership category is the newest level of membership in the Data Transparency Coalition.  The Partner Level is the now the second highest membership possible within the Coalition, which includes an appointment to our Board of Advisors as well as the opportunity to appoint an individual to sit as a silent member on our Board of Directors.

As with our other membership levels, Partner Members will receive complimentary tickets and exhibit space at Coalition events as well as discounts on sponsorship for Coalition programming! If you are interested in upgrading your membership, contact Sarah Joy Hays.

How Data Standards Are Poised To Transform Government

Maybe data standards don’t sound too terribly important. But they are. In fact, data standards have the ability to change the way government does business: creating greater efficiencies, improving its effectiveness, and providing better accountability and citizen access.

Read the rest at Socrata's blog.


Teradata Corporation
Research Data Group
RR Donnelley


Accenture Federal
Booz Allen Hamilton
Center for Organizational Effectiveness
CGI Federal
Elder Research
Information Builders
IRIS Business Services
Level One Technologies
PR Newswire
StreamLink Software

3 Round Stones

Trade Association
Object Management Group 

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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