In the Media

Data accessibility: Your data distilled

Tune in to FEDtalk this Friday to learn how federal agencies are using data visualization techniques to better educate the public on what they are doing and to improve government transparency. Host Nikki Cannon will be joined in-studio by data experts Robert Dolan of Tableau, Hudson Hollister of Data Coalition, and Alex Howard of the Sunlight Foundation to discuss these latest trends and their impact on the public at large.

// Read at FEDtalk and Federal News Radio //


Transparency advocates pitch the next big thing in Big Data

The long-anticipated roll out of federal agency spending reporting required by the DATA Act is set for May, but that hasn’t kept transparency advocates from looking for new ways to make data work for government.

// Read at Federal Times //


House panel takes on government transparency

Government transparency can take many forms, and not all of them have bipartisan support. (Congressional Democrats’ demands for President Donald Trump’s tax returns are unlikely to get traction anytime soon, for example.) But at a March 23 House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing, one piece of legislation seemed to resonate on both sides of the aisle: the Open, Public, Electronic and Necessary (OPEN) Government Act.

// Read at FCW //


OPEN Government Data Act to get another chance

Legislation setting a presumption that all government information should be published as open, machine-readable data is back with bipartisan support in the House. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, confirmed Thursday that he and Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., are preparing the OPEN Government Data Act for reintroduction. The legislation passed the Senate last year but the House never acted on its version.

// Read at Fedscoop //


How Transparent is too Transparent, Oversight Committee Asks

Is the public entitled to know who visits the White House? What would they even do with that information?Those were just a couple of the many questions a Congressional oversight committee attempted to tackle during a transparency-themed hearing Thursday, which meandered from legislation that would require federal agencies to publish their spending data to whether the president should be required to disclose his tax returns.

// Read at Nextgov //


Analyst, Industry Execs Divided On Disclosure Requirements

Reducing corporate disclosures could harm investors, a CFA executive warned Thursday. “We can’t lose information,” said Mohini Singh, the CFA Institute’s director of financial reporting said. “There could be a big danger in cutting disclosure regulations. That must not happen.”

// Read at Financial Advisor //


OFR’s sec finance data collections to require LEIs

Future repo and securities lending data collections by the US Treasury’s Office of Financial Research (OFR) will require firms to use Legal Entity Identifiers (LEIs). Speaking in Washington DC on Thursday, OFR director Richard Berner called on US financial regulators to mandate the LEI in regulatory reporting.

// Read at Global Investor //


New Bill Would Force Financial Agencies to Adopt Consistent Data Formats

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and 28 other representatives late Wednesday reintroduced the Financial Transparency Act, which would require all eight financial regulatory agencies to adopt standardized, electronic data reporting formats.

// Read at MeriTalk //


Lawmakers push DATA Act for financial industry

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has reintroduced a bill to modernize the financial reporting process for industry by mandating a standardized, machine-readable, open-data format. Specifically, the Financial Transparency Act would direct the government’s eight financial regulatory agencies to adopt data standards for the information they collect from the private sector in order to reduce duplication, burden and fraud and make it available for download, accessible via application programming interfaces and easily searchable.

// Read at FCW //


This could be the year for Issa’s bill requiring open, standardized financial data format

Lawmakers and private sector leaders are lining up behind a bipartisan bill that would require financial regulators to adopt an open and standardized format for filings, officials said Thursday at the Data Coalition’s Financial Data Summit.

// Read at Fedscoop //


Legislative Proposals for Fostering Transparency

The Open Government DATA Act gives taxpayers access to federal data, in non-proprietary formats. It would make all government data in an open, machine-readable format to be published on

// Read at House Oversight and Government Reform Committee //


Modernizing Financial Data For the 21st Century

The proposed Financial Transparency Act could be the most significant innovation in financial data reporting since the Great Depression. The bipartisan bill, which was originally introduced in 2010, will likely be reintroduced this year. If it is passed, the new regulations related to open data could greatly benefit regulators and investors.

// Read at GovLoop //


SEC moves toward Inline XBRL filings

Data Coalition founder Hudson Hollister discussed how this month’s Securities and Exchange Commission vote moving toward Inline XBRL filings could impact financial transparency government-wide.

// Read at Government Matters //


SEC moves closer to requiring open format for company filings

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s two sitting commissioners voted Wednesday to propose a rule change requiring public companies to file single versions of financial statements using an open format. Commissioners Michael Piwowar, a Republican, and Kara Stein, a Democrat, voted to propose the changes requiring public companies to file using Inline Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) rather than the two formats that have been required since 2009.

// Read at Fedscoop //


SEC advances open data rule

Two commissioners of the Securities and Exchange Commission voted to approve a rule change that would require public companies to submit certain financial filings in an open data format. The vote by sitting commissioners Michael Piwowar and Kara Stein represents SEC’s taking another step closer to adopting the inline XBRL format as its primary filing.

// Read at FCW //



The U.S. government’s regulatory apparatus is the largest and most complex in the world. Where most countries get by with two financial regulatory agencies, we have nine, depending on how you count. Our most recent major change, the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial law, is over 2,300 pages long and required the agencies to issue more than 22,000 pages of regulations. Complexity makes regulatory compliance expensive – both for the financial industry and for the agencies themselves.

// Read at GovLoop //


GSA gives the ‘dump DUNS’ movement more hope

By 2018, the General Services Administration will have paid Dun & Bradstreet more than $131 million over the last eight years for access and use of the Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS).

// Read at Federal News Radio //


Prime time for the Data Act?

The cause of government transparency is due to hit a major milestone in May, when machine-readable federal financial data is finally published online under the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act.

// Read at FCW //


GSA explores replacement of DUNS number

The General Services Administration is looking for potential options to replace the proprietary system it currently uses to identify and track entities that do business with the federal government.

// Read at Fedscoop //


GSA moves one step closer to replacing DUNS

The General Services Administration took an important step toward reducing its reliance on a proprietary business entity identifier system in government contracting. The agency released a request for information on Feb. 13 in advance of the possible adoption of a new numbering system for “government-wide entity identification and validation services.”

// Read at FCW //


What to watch with EPA data

Open data advocates are worried about what funding cuts could mean for the information the EPA releases — data that is used by not only environmental advocates but private industry and state and local governments.

// Read at GCN //


Legacy Systems Hurt Budget Reporting Structure, OMB Nominee Says

The White House Office of Management and Budget should drive structural reforms to make big data more accessible, according to Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., nominee for President Donald Trump’s director of OMB.

// Read at MeriTalk //


Trump’s pick for OMB sounds enthusiastic about the Data Act

Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) stressed the importance of getting accurate and useful data in order to inform his and President Donald Trump’s decision-making during his confirmation hearings to lead the Office of Management and Budget.

// Read at FCW //


Preserving agency data during the presidential transition

Hudson Hollister, executive director of the Data Coalition, discusses how agencies can ensure their data is preserved during the presidential transition, and the upcoming DATA Act deadline.

// Read at Government Matters //


SEC’s open data rule could come before end of Obama administration

Open data advocates have long sought a rule change to require the use of machine-readable data in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In a new letter to senators on the banking committee, SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White announced the possibility of doing just that.

// Read at FCW //


Senate moves to make more federal data machine readable

In a show of support for open data and data standardization, the Senate last week passed the Open, Public, Electronic and Necessary (OPEN) Government Data Act.

// Read at GCN //


Fears rise of Trump-era ‘memory hole’ in federal data

Some of Obama’s policies have also been a boon to the archiving project, including a 2013 executive order to make government data more readily accessible and a drive to collect many federal government data sets on a single site:

// Read at Politico //


Senate backs open gov bill

The Senate’s late spate of action Dec. 10 included the approval of a bill to make federal agency data open and machine readable by default. The move passed by unanimous consent.

// Read at FCW //


Senate passes mandate for publishing government data

The Senate has unanimously approved the Open, Public, Electronic, and Necessary Government Data Act (S 2852), furthering a goal of making open data the federal default according to a news release by the Data Coalition.

// Read at FederalTimes //


Open Government Data Act set for progress in 2017 after Senate passage

A bill codifying and building on the president’s executive order and the White House’s Open Data Policy passed the Senate unanimously early on Saturday morning, in a surprising last-minute effort to get the bill through the chamber before the holidays.

// Read at FedScoop //


Senate Clears Bipartisan Data Transparency Bill; Sen. Brian Schatz Comments

he Senate has unanimously approved a bipartisan bill that would provide individuals, government agencies and other organizations access to machine-readable public information at Sens. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska) introduced the Open, Public, Electronic and Necessary Government Data Act, Schatz’s office said Monday.

// Read at ExecutiveGov //


To Fix Federal Procurement, Dump the DUNS Number

By dumping the DUNS Number, we will liberate procurement data. Once procurement data is unshackled from licensing, entrepreneurs will be able to develop and freely test analytics to stop fraud and achieve better pricing. Data companies will match companies’ procurement data with their regulatory filings, giving inspectors general and investors powerful, actionable insights.

// Read at The Hill //


OMB’s latest DATA Act guidance highlights PII, financial assistance

Personally identifiable information and data “validity” are the focus of the Office of Management and Budget’s latest DATA Act guidance. In a Nov. 6 memo to agencies, OMB delves into detail for reporting certain types of federal financial assistance and awards under the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act.

// Read at Federal News Radio //


Data Coalition Sees Trump Win as a Call for More Open Government

Last week’s election of Donald Trump as president “shows that Americans feel a need to be better connected to a government they may see as remote, complex, overblown and unresponsive,” according to the leader of a major industry and nonprofit alliance promoting federal data transparency. “Open data can change all that,” Hudson Hollister, executive director of the Data Coalition told Government Executive on release of the group’s 2017 federal, state and market transparency agenda.

// Read at Government Executive //


Industry Letter Asks Congress to Improve Financial Data Reporting

Industry leaders asked the House Committee on Financial Services in future legislative sessions to consider modernizing financial regulatory reporting within the government.

// Read at MeriTalk //


OMB’s latest DATA Act guidance highlights PII, financial assistance

Personally identifiable information and data “validity” are the focus of the Office of Management and Budget’s latest DATA Act guidance. In a Nov. 6 memo to agencies, OMB delves into detail for reporting certain types of federal financial assistance and awards under the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act.

// Read at Federal News Radio //


Data policy for a new administration

When the next administration takes office in January, the president will immediately be inundated with a bevy of managerial tasks, such as filling about 4,000 political positions and getting his or her agenda off the ground.

// Read at FCW //


Federal Open Data Goals for the Next Administration

Hudson Hollister, founder of the Data Coalition, said that in order for the center’s goals to be met, Federal agencies need to standardize their data in order to manage it and share it efficiently with others.

// Read at MeriTalk //


XBRL: Final disclosure

Meet the U.S. Data Federation: A new hub for standardized, coordinated open data

The General Services Administration is working to create a place where data providers can go to see if their data fits into a set of standards others might be already using. This new effort, the recently announced U.S. Data Federation, is a step forward in the open data movement toward not just publishing data on but also coordinating it among specific topics to be interoperable and standardized, experts say.

// Read at FedScoop //



Datapalooza,” a daylong presentation of data-driven research and initiatives and networking opportunities at the University of Virginia, drew more than 300 attendees Friday to Newcomb Hall and the new space of the Data Science Institute at the Dell 1 Data Science Building.The event featured speakers, panels, presentations – including a Data Visualization as Art exhibit – and a resource fair. Aneesh Chopra, co-founder and executive vice president of Hunch Analytics and the former and first U.S. chief technology officer, presented the morning keynote address.

// Read at UVA Today //


Sorting dirty data is the final hurdle in leveraging analytics

The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 achieved what few pieces of legislation do in Washington these days: near universal bipartisan agreement on how to make the federal government more efficient. But whether it can completely transform the way government records and reports its data in the next eight months to achieve that efficiency is a question that has yet to be answered.

// Read at Federal Times //


HUD falling behind on DATA Act implementation

Add another notch to the ever-growing tally of setbacks for the DATA Act. The Housing and Urban Development Department’s Inspector General says in a new review that the department is not on track to start standardized spending reports next year, thanks in part to “management turnover and indecision.”

// Read at Federal News Radio //


Push Underway to Require U.S. Regulatory Filings in XBRL

There’s currently a massive lobbying effort to require U.S. financial regulatory agencies to collect financial regulatory filings electronically, using only standardized data: eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL). If successful it would be a major step in the way information is distributed and shared by and among financial agencies. It could mark a historic turning point in U.S. financial reporting. The movement comes on top of what federal agencies must do as of 2017 under the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA) of 2014, the nation’s first open-data law. The DATA act requires the federal government to transform all spending information into open data

// Read at Bloomberg BNA //


Is Congress ready for its own internal Data Act?

A draft bill introduced in the House would require all congressional bills, resolutions and documents to be published in machine-readable format.

// Read at FCW //


Clinton Technology Plan Promises ‘Smarter’ Government

The Hillary Clinton presidential campaign’s newly released Technology and Innovation Agenda, while addressing broad consumer issues such as broadband access, tech job growth and STEM education, contains a sizable set of proposals on making government “smarter.” It also comes out in favor of full implementation of the 2014 Data Accountability and Transparency Act.

// Read at Government Executive //


IRS goes XML with tax-exempt forms

The IRS is taking a step to open data on the financials of tax-exempt organizations. The tax agency is making most Forms 990 – which detail tax-exempt organizations’ financial information – available in machine-readable XML format, the agency announced June 16. The forms have until now only been offered to the public as image files. The XML files will be hosted through Amazon Web Services as an AWS Public Data Set.

// Read at FCW //


Connect the corporate dots to see true transparency

In 2014, the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation was created. It supports the implementation and use of “legal entity identifiers”, a data standard that identifies participants in financial transactions. Groups such as the Data Coalition in Washington DC are lobbying for laws that would force companies to use LEIs. However, this inter-governmental project is moving so slowly that the private sector may be a better bet. In recent years, companies such as Dun & Bradstreet have begun to amass proprietary information about complex corporate webs, and computer nerds are also starting to use the power of big data to join up the corporate dots in a public format.

// Read at Financial Times //


Accountable, Transparent Government: The Promise of the DATA Act

The DATA Act established new standards to ensure federal spending transparency and outlined how to disclose and publish spending data. The U.S. Department of the Treasury and Office of Management and Budget are now in the process of implementing the Act and putting new rules in place. In May 2017, federal agencies will begin reporting spending data in ways that give an unprecedented level of insight to Americans on how their money is being spent.

// Read at HuffingtonPost //


Building the next USASpending.Gov, out in the open

The Treasury Department is preparing to release the second beta of USASpending.Gov, its public website for online, open and transparent agency spending data in compliance with the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act.

// Read at GCN //


How the U.S. government’s spending transparency tools can better serve users

Key issues at this year’s [DATA Act] Summit were how to use open data for better oversight of federal spending, linking spending data to performance data, and the need for non-proprietary award identifiers for companies in federal spending records.

// Read at Open Contracting Partnership //


This Week in Civic Tech: Congress Voices Concern over DATA Act Pilot, Two Startups Help San Francisco

Officials attempting to open federal financial data are encountering obstacles after a pilot program was delayed and Congress and data advocates made allegations of mismanagement.

// Read at Government Technology //


Time is ripe to dump the DUNS, industry data group says

The Office of Management and Budget seems to be exploring possible alternatives to the proprietary standard that agencies have used for decades to identify companies and organizations that win federal grants and contract awards.

// Read at Federal News Radio //


DATA Act authors worry about law’s future

Two authors of the legislation that requires federal agencies to standardize and publish spending information say more work needs to be done to make sure the law doesn’t fall by the wayside when the next administration takes over.

// Read at FedScoop //


Presidential Politics Endangers the DATA Act

Proponents of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA) worry that a change in presidential administration could derail the progress made to release Federal financial data to the public. “One of the biggest challenges, I think, is the change in administration,” said Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., at the DATA Act Summit held on Thursday. Both he and Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said that worry over the changing administration was the biggest DATA Act problem to keep them up at night.

// Read at MeriTalk //


What went wrong with DATA Act pilot?

Four senators want to know why the Office of Management and Budget is behind on a pilot program meant to increase transparency and cost savings. The four sent a letter dated May 16 to OMB director Shaun Donovan, asking about the status of a pilot program required by the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act. The lawmakers are Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio; Mark Warner, D-Va.; Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., and Tom Carper, D-Del. “We write to express our concern regarding the status of the [Office of Federal Procurement Policy] pilot,” the letter said. “A recent Government Accountability Office report found that the procurement pilot is four months behind schedule, does not adhere to leading management practices and is unlikely to yield information that is broadly scalable to all contractors, because it targeted a very narrow reporting requirement for construction contractors.”

// Read at Federal Times //


Next Steps for the DATA Act

The road to open federal spending data has been a long one. In May 2014, President Obama signed the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act), which requires the Department of the Treasury and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to standardize and publish U.S. spending data. In May 2015, Treasury and OMB started releasing data standards.

// Read at GovLoop //


Senators to OMB: Get Cracking on Effort to Standardize Spending Data

The White House is behind on doing its part in the governmentwide effort to standardize spending data to improve transparency, a bipartisan group of senators said Tuesday in an aggressive, detailed letter to Budget Director Shaun Donovan. A pilot project the Office of Management and Budget set up to ease the clerical reporting burden on contractors is “four months behind schedule, does not adhere to leading practices for pilot program management or design and, as it currently stands, is unlikely to reduce reporting costs for most contractors,” said four members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in demanding acceleration of the effort to implement the 2014 Digital Accountability and Transparency Act. The Obama administration’s approach, they suggested, is not responsive to the law.

// Read at GovExec //


Data demo day highlights benefits of open, searchable legislative data

Lawmakers and the Data Coalition, an open government advocacy group, held a Legislative Data Demo Day Wednesday to discuss details of the bi-partisan Statutes at Large Modernization Act (H.R. 4006), as well as some ways open and “successful” legislative data might be used.

// Read at Fierce Government IT //


Progress report on the DATA Act

Two years ago, President Obama signed the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act into law. It’s designed to make federal spending data more accessible, more searchable, and more consistent — launching a new era of data-driven government. The Treasury Department and the Office of Management and Budget are leading implementation, but it’s a heavy lift.

// Read at ABC 7 News - WJLA //


House Oversight Committee Shows us What’s Ahead for DATA Act

The joint oversight hearing brought officials from the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Treasury Department, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) before the House Oversight subcommittees on Information Technology and Government Operations. (The same two subcommittees last held a similar joint hearing nearly nine months ago.)

// Read at GovLoop //


Hundreds of comments shape final Data Act schema

The Treasury Department released its finalized playbook, the Data Act Information Model Schema (DAIMS) v1.0, on April 29. Created over four draft releases that generated hundreds of stakeholder comments, DAIMS is a guide to the reporting timeframes, data sources and data standards that make up Data Act reporting. Government-wide homogeneity is paramount if the result of the Data Act is to be a usable “display gallery” instead of a data dump.

// Read at FCW //


Are Agencies Drowning in Data Mandates?

Federal agencies might be struggling to keep up with several concurrent mandates to make public, and to standardize the format of, their data. Earlier this month, a group of lawmakers announced efforts to make all federal data sets open to the public, under forthcoming legislation known as the Open, Public, Electronic and Necessary Government Data Act, or the OPEN Government DATA Act.

// Read at Nextgov //


DATA Act a good thing, but implementation a struggle for some agencies

The full implementation of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act is not the end of three years of work, but the start of what oversight and accountability proponents say is a new era for the federal government. Jason Malmstrom, assistant inspector general within the Justice Department’s audit division, said the law shows what standardized data should be and what it can do.

// Read at Federal News Radio //


Lawmakers Introduce OPEN Government Data Act

Reps. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.), Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) and Sens. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), and Ben Sasse (R-Neb,) jointly introduced legislation on Tuesday that would make government data more accessible to encourage new discoveries in the private sector. The OPEN Government Data Act would require that public data be accessible at to ensure that individuals, organizations, and other government offices can access it.

// Read at Morning Consult //


Congressmen introduce OPEN Government Data Act with stakeholder endorsements

The OPEN Government Data Act gained the endorsement of two stakeholder groups at an event on Thursday. The Data Coalition, a group of industry advocates for the publication of government data, and the think tank Center for Data Innovation hosted the event to kick off the bill’s introduction.

// Read at Fierce Government IT //


Federal Data Should Be Open To Public, Lawmakers Say

Data that are collected by the federal government should be open and accessible to public by default, according to a group of lawmakers. A new bill to be presented to the senate would require federal agencies to have their data accessible to the public using a “modern, open and electronic format.” These data will be stored on the website, according to an article released by Open Sources.

// Read at Lawyer Herald //


How is the government spending your money? Ohio’s figured it out

Ohio in 2014 launched a searchable database of the state’s expenditures, allowing residents to browse how their money was being spent by both the state and participating local governments. Government watchdogs view it as a model for something that could be applied across the nation.

// Read at Washington Examiner //


Financial Data Standards Should Be…

This week, GovLoop’s very own Nicole Blake Johnson moderated a panel discussion at the Data Coalition’s Financial Data Summit in Washington, D.C.The event brought together data standards advocates and leaders from across the financial and regulatory community because of one common belief and purpose: that data standards make the world better. You may be thinking – why should I care? I don’t work in finance. But what you may not know is that financial regulations and standards affect almost every industry. And the changes that the field is working toward are not all that different from the challenges that any field pushing for modernization and improvement face.

// Read at GovLoop //


Streamlining data would improve financial regulation, panelists say

Streamlining financial data standards is essential to improving risk management and the regulation of financial institutions, panelists said at the Financial Data Summit on March 29. “If we don’t transform in the financial world the type of data that is collected and standardized, we will not be able to make significant progress in improving risk management and financial regulation,” said Allan Mendelowitz, president of ACTUS Financial Research Foundation and former director of the Federal Housing Finance Board.

// Read at SNL Conference Chatter //


The long war for data standards

A pending financial data standards bill could conceivably be law within a year, but its proponents are prepared to keep fighting the long fight. “It took us five years to do the Data Act,” said Hudson Hollister, executive director of the Data Coalition. “It’s been one year so far for the Financial Transparency Act.” Backers of the Financial Transparency Act, which would direct regulatory agencies to standardize the information they collect from the private sector, were thick on the ground at the Data Coalition’s second annual Financial Data Summit on March 2

// Read at FCW //


SEC raises the ante on data transparency

The U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission is diving headfirst into new strategies to increase financial data transparency and accessibility. The goal, as outlined at the Data Coalition’s March 29 Financial Data Summit, is to become a proactive — rather than reactive — enforcement entity. In the past 18 months, the SEC has proposed or adopted 10 new rules on structured disclosure. Mary Jo White, who chairs the agency, has announced work on a revamped Office of Structured Disclosure website, as well as future implementation of inline XBRL viewers for the website. XBRL is shorthand for eXtensible Business Reporting Language — a freely available global standard for exchanging business information that has been embraced by the SEC.

// Read at FCW //


SEC Isn’t Waiting on a Congressional Mandate to Start Standardizing Financial Data

Seven years after the Great Recession, federal financial regulators appear all onboard for standardizing and digitizing the data they monitor from industry filings, even if allies in the transparency community argue that progress would be greater if Congress made the conversion effort mandatory. Officials from the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Treasury Department and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. told the nonprofit Data Coalition’s “Financial Data Summit” on Tuesday that they see “great progress” in efforts by some 20 agencies to streamline and ease access to financial trends to head off a repeat of the collapse of much of Wall Street in 2009.

// Read at Government Executive //


Mike Starr: Bill seeks to ease financial data filing process

A proposed bill, the Financial Transparency Act, could help make financial data easier to file, search and understand. Mike Starr, vice president of governmental and regulatory affairs at financial software firm Workiva, joins Federal Drive with Tom Temin to provide insight.

// Read at Federal News Radio //


Technological change is coming to financial regulation

Financial regulation, at least in the United States, is famously resistant to technological change. Bernie Madoff’s infamous sixteen-year fraud lasted as long as it did because multiple offices at the Securities and Exchange Commission were unaware of one another’s parallel inquiries into Madoff firms. The Madoff failure was a data failure. Different parts of the SEC use different electronic codes to identify the companies and firms they are supposed to track. Even within the agency, a particular entity cannot be matched to its subsidiaries and affiliates. Without a standard data field, there is no way to aggregate data on a complex company or firm – at least, not without lots of manual research.

// Read at The Hill //


Sessions Touts Availability of House Rules and Manual in XML Format; Increases transparency and access to Congressional data

Today, the House Rules Committee made available text of the House Rules and Manual in XML format on the Government Publishing Office (GPO) GitHub account, allowing for greater functionality, transparency and better usability. Additionally made available are the Constitution and other support pages that will allow greater functionality with regard to referencing, analysis and indexing.

// Read at House Rules Committee //


California Needs Better Open Data on State Government Spending, Lawmakers Say

California lawmakers this week called for more transparency in state government, noting the federal government, local entities and other states have implemented open data initiatives that provide detailed accountability of how public money is spent. “I feel like government is just so opaque and so complicated,” Assemblymember Ling Ling Chang, R-Diamond Bar, told an audience at Open Data Day held Tuesday in Sacramento.

// Read at Techwire //


Top 3 Roadblocks to Data Transparency in California

In a presentation held March 1 during California Data Demo Day, which showcases state data transparency projects, California officials underscored a swath of technical and bureaucratic roadblocks still hindering digital efforts. The commentary pointed to a litany of struggles as state legislators and administrators recalled past pursuits with open data. The speakers surfaced recurring issues in funding, infrastructure and culture change while calling for continued vigilance in modernizing state services.

// Read at Government Technology //


In California, civil servants lead the way in open data use — panel

California civil servants are leading the way in open data use, even as the state as a whole drags its feet, according to panelists at the Data Coalition’s California Data Day Tuesday. Robb Korinke, a principal for California public affairs firm GrassrootsLab, lamented that millennials can find a date on their smartphone — but may have trouble locating some basic facts about their cities.

// Read at Statescoop //


USDA preps for the Internet of Tractors

The Agriculture Department is looking for a better way to get data from the farm to the spreadsheet.In a request for information released Feb. 17, USDA asks industry for systems that could help bring simplify the process for farmers to send reports to the Farm Service Agency and the Risk Management Agency.

// Read at FCW //


The future’s bright for White House’s interactive budget, transparency

A White House interactive budget application — released this week with data from the president’s budget request for fiscal year 2017 — could unleash an unprecedented level of federalwide financial transparency, experts believe.

// Read at FedScop //


Open Data Loses House Battle, Heads to Senate With Obama Support

The fight for transparency on open financial data moved to the Senate Thursday after the House of Representatives passed the Small Company Disclosure Simplification Act, slamming the door on requirements that most U.S. companies file their financial statements in the XBRL format. The overall package bill, HR 1675, passed on Wednesday over the objections of open data supporters including 21 Republicans as well as most Democrats.

// Read at MeriTalk //


Data Coalition launches sister organization to promote #opendata

The South Capitol Hill-based Data Coalition (previously the Data Transparency Coalition), an open data trade association, announced the launch of sister organization last week. Meet Data Foundation. The newly-created Data Foundation “will illuminate the benefits of transforming government information into standardized, open data” through research. The Foundation’s website touts the organization as “the nation’s first industry-focused open data research organization.”

// Read at DC //


GAO frets about ambiguity in Data Act standards

The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 requires the government to publish a detailed accounting of federal spending in uniform, machine-readable format on the website, so the government is trying to get agencies on the same page when it comes to standards for that data.

// Read at FCW //


Data Coalition shortens name, launches research foundation

The Data Transparency Coalition, the nonprofit that lobbies for government information to be released in machine-readable format, is shortening its name to the Data Coalition and launching a research arm called the Data Foundation.

// Read at Fedscoop //


Data Coalition Rebrands, Opens New Research Center

The Data Transparency Coalition is changing its name to Data Coalition and opening a new research center as it gathers steam to push to standardize and publish all government information as open data. The coalition is also launching the Data Foundation (, the nation’s first industry-focused open data research organization. The goal: promoting the benefits of transforming government information into standardized, open data.

// Read at MeriTalk //



The Data Transparency Coalition, a trade association whose members include LexisNexis and which advocates for federal data sharing, is rebranding to include data management as part of its mission. The group has pushed for the federal government to fully implement the 2014 Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, which directs federal agencies to make their spending more accessible and searchable to the public, among other open-data related policies. In advance of a day of meetings on Capitol Hill, the organization Wednesday announced its new name — the Data Coalition — and the creation of a new research foundation studying the impact of open data.

// Read at Nextgov //


It Will Soon Be Easier for Investors to Access Company Filings on Their Mobile Devices

The Securities and Exchange Commission plans to modernize its website to ease public access to company filings via mobile devices under a contract awarded to Accenture Federal Services, the company announced on Thursday.

// Read at Government Executive //


FTC warns companies that ‘big data’ comes with the potential for big problems

The agency on Wednesday released a new report that advises companies on how to avoid hurting the most vulnerable as they push further into the booming “big data” economy. “Big data’s role is growing in nearly every area of business, affecting millions of consumers in concrete ways,” said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez in a press release. “The potential benefits to consumers are significant, but businesses must ensure that their big data use does not lead to harmful exclusion or discrimination.”

// Read at The Washington Post //


10 Ways to Capitalize on Transparency’s Potential

Since President Obama signed the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act in May 2014, federal agencies have been hard at work implementing data standards and establishing a framework for increasing financial transparency by May 2017. The Office of Management and Budget and the Treasury Department are leading the effort.

// Read at Government Executive //


SEC Pressured to Standardize Financial Reporting

Reps. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Mike Quigley, D-Ill., summoned industry and nonprofit transparency advocates to a panel last week to talk up their Financial Transparency Act (H.R. 2477). It would write into law the requirement for standardized reporting formats that are being considered voluntarily by agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

// Read at Government Executive //


“Every American has the right to know”

In 2014, Obama signed a bipartisan measure mandating agencies use consistent data standards for spending, along the lines of what Devaney had advised. The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act was ushered through by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.

// Read at Government Executive //


Major change proposed to how agencies track vendors

The Federal Acquisition Regulations Council is taking the first step to get the government away from what many see as a costly way to track and manage vendors. The FAR Council released a proposed rule Nov. 18 asking for input on how the government can stop using the proprietary standard or number for uniquely identifying entities receiving federal awards provided for decades by Dun & Bradstreet.

// Read at Federal News Radio //


Sun could be setting on DUNS

The federal government is taking the first steps toward getting rid of a proprietary business identifier it uses in its procurement processes and that critics say weakens open-data initiatives. The sun might finally be setting for DUNS. The three agencies responsible for overseeing the Federal Acquisition Regulation that drives procurement officially proposed stepping away from DUNS numbers in a Nov. 18 notice in the Federal Register.

// Read at FCW //


User Feedback Key to’s 2-year Facelift

With two years to go before key deadlines under the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act mandate a wave of new requirements for agencies submitting spending data to, the Treasury Department is planning to revamp the website that tracks federal dollars.

// Read at Nextgov //


Agencies still searching for a way out of their own data silos

The Small Business Administration has made one small step forward in its efforts to better collect, organize and understand its own data. But SBA and other agencies still are opening up and tying together data within their own individual silos. Breaking down those walls and drawing connections between them will take more time, as agencies implement the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act).

// Read at Federal News Radio //


Making DATA Act Real Means Working Nights and Weekends

Small Business Administration staff are working overtime to keep up progress on a pilot project to standardize spending data as required by the 2014 Digital Accountability and Transparency Act.

// Read at Government Executive //


How the Data Act reveals what agencies don’t know

Shining a bright light into a dark space is bound to reveal some unknowns, but it could highlight opportunities as well. Tim Gribben, deputy chief financial officer at the Small Business Administration, shared some of the insights he has gained during the trek toward complying with the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act.

// Read at FCW //


Boehner’s tech legacy (seriously)

Outgoing House Speaker John Boehner might be better remembered for public bouts of weeping and a private fondness for red wine and cigarettes. But as the Ohioan prepares to leave office amid a political struggle over the direction of the Republican caucus, it’s a good time to reflect on a surprising aspect of Boehner’s legacy: promoting open data in government.

// Read at FCW //


What’s your Return on Complying with the DATA Act?

The scale of U.S. federal government spending is immense, overwhelming and abstract. At 20 percent of American Gross Domestic Product, our $3.8 trillion in annual federal spending is larger than the entire economies of all but two countries. This large budget spanning hundreds of agencies and departments presents a considerable challenge to open review of public spending.

// Read at NextGov //


Whats Your Return on Complying with the DATA Act

The scale of U.S. federal government spending is immense, overwhelming and abstract. At 20 percent of American Gross Domestic Product, our $3.8 trillion in annual federal spending is larger than the entire economies of all but two countries. This large budget spanning hundreds of agencies and departments presents a considerable challenge to open review of public spending.

// Read at //


California Lawmaker Pushes for State Chief Data Officer

California Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, and Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, among others, addressed the need to streamline the state’s open data publishing efforts at the California Data Demo Day. The morning event was hosted by the Data Transparency Coalition, a trade group that advocates for publishing government data in open, machine-readable formats.

// Read at Government Technology //


What your agency is up against when implementing the DATA Act

The DATA Act is forcing agencies to standardize their financial information. The Office of Management and Budget will tell House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittees on Information Technology and Government Operations about its plans to implement the DATA Act at a hearing on Wednesday. Hudson Hollister is the director of the Data Transparency Coalition. He tells Federal News Radio’s Emily Kopp about the changes agencies will soon have to deal with.

// Read at Federal News Radio //


How digitized lawmaking could upend regulation writing

If laws and regulations were expressed as open data, rather than documents, “then government and society would be transformed,” according to Hudson Hollister, executive director of the Data Transparency Coalition. Hollister spoke as part of a panel that also included technological directors from the House of Representatives and developers from the General Services Administration’s 18F organization.

// Read at Federal Times //


Data Act implementation hung up on definitions

Looking for the “display gallery” of federal finances the 2014 Digital Accountability and Transparency Act could provide? The feds need to hammer out more definitions first.

// Read at Federal Computer Week //


Linking laws through open data

At a July 28 breakfast, the coalition and its partners championed the transformation of the legislative process with open data – and teased new “legislation about legislation” that could help speed that transformation. There are several open data avenues being pursued by legislative and regulatory bodies worldwide, including UN favorite Akoma Ntoso and U.S. Legislative Markup, the schema for producing the U.S. Code in Extensible Markup Language (XML).

// Read at Federal Computer Week //


OMB starts DATA Act implementation in high gear

Forr all of the Obama administration’s reluctance and push-back against the Data Transparency Accountability Act or DATA Act as it was going through Congress, give them credit for meeting the first major statutory deadline of the law on May 7. OMB also issued the first DATA Act guidance, which calls for agencies to designate a senior accountable official to lead the law’s implementation.

// Read at Federal News Radio //


Better data, Better decisions, Better government

A year ago, Congress passed the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014, or the DATA Act. Since then, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) have engaged with the communities that create and use this data and taken important first steps towards creating a more data driven government, and making federal data more transparent and available to the American people. Today marks the beginning of the next phase of implementation of the DATA Act.

// Read at The Department of the Treasury and White House Office of Management and Budget //


Why is the SEC still so low-tech?

Like many U.S. regulators, the SEC hasn’t kept pace with technological evolution. As a result, the firms it’s charged with overseeing are getting away with shady practices, investors are being denied easy access to key information, and, our economy is being put at risk.

// Read at CNBC //


Big Government Is Getting In The Way Of Big Data

When the government wants to know how many people are unemployed, it calls people and asks them whether they’re working. When it wants to know how quickly prices are rising, it sends researchers to stores to check price tags. And when it wants to know how much consumers are spending, it mails forms to thousands of retailers asking about their sales.

// Read at FiveThirtyEight //


Smaller companies exempt from using open-data format for financial reporting under House bill

Defeat of job bill in House reveals open data failures at SEC

But the bill’s defeat tells only part of the story. The Hurt provision, known as the Small Company Disclosure Simplification Act, not only threatened the future ability of the SEC to eliminate financial fraud and protect investors but also underscores the agency’s failure to manage the deployment of new data standards that are critical to accurate financial reporting and oversight.

// Read at FedScoop //


SEC’s Year-End XBRL Release Advances the Ball on Data Over Documents

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s year-end release of ‘structured data sets’ of XBRL information appears aimed at improving the access to, and usefulness of, this electronically tagged data.

// Read at Financial Executives International Daily //


Open data builds on the hill as Senate offers XML info

The U.S. Senate will be joining the open data movement when it said it would make bills and other legislative information available for bulk XML download. In making its announcement at the Legislative Branch Bulk Data Task Force meeting, the Senate said it will release machine-readable summary and bill information from the 113th Congress, which just gaveled out, and legislation from the upcoming 114th.

// Read at Government Computer News //


SEC moves to ease access to financial statement data

At the end of 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission took a big step toward making corporate financial data more open, announcing it would repackage the financial statement data it had been gathering from publicly traded companies and releasing them in quarterly datasets.

// Read at FCW //


How one company is trying to tackle Big Data’s big problem

Big data analysis is great if your information is in formats that are easy for computers to read, such as spreadsheets with numbers, or responses on a scale from one to five. But a lot of information isn’t organized like that. Instead, it’s in presentations, memos, reports, comments or just plain e-mail. Analysis of that kind of information — often called “unstructured” or “dark” data — is really tough to do by computer, and companies including Intel, SAP and HP are looking for a more reliable way to do it. Another firm, uReveal, thinks that it’s cracked the code. Charles “Bucky” Clarkson, uReveal’s chairman and CEO, said that software such as his makes it easier to to parse all those government reports and organize the data so that analysts can get more out of it, and more quickly. He also claims that the software is so simple to use that (gasp!) even liberal arts majors can use it.

// Read at Washington Post //


The Other Darrell Issa

But when he isn’t chastising the executive branch and making headlines, another Issa emerges, a forceful advocate for government transparency, capable of working with Democrats and negotiating with the administration to pass open government legislation and whistleblower protections. In May, President Barack Obama signed the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, a law that will expose federal spending in an online database, allowing Americans to know, for the first time, exactly how the federal government spends its money.

// Read at San Diego Magazine //


Spending transparency gets boost with passage of DATA Act, awaits President’s signature

Bipartisan legislation designed to bring greater transparency, consistency and accuracy into federal government spending through the use of strong, uniform open data standards is headed to President Obama for his signature.

// Read at FierceGovernmentIT //


Congress Passes DATA Act

The House has unanimously passed the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, also known as the DATA Act, on Monday, following Senate passage earlier this month and sending the legislation to President Obama’s desk for his signature.

// Read at Accounting Today //


Congress to Feds: You’re on the Hook for Spending Transparency

Passing the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act was one thing. Implementing it will be a much bigger challenge. The success of the open government measure Congress passed on Monday, which the president has pledged to sign, depends on ensuring the executive branch implements the law’s mandates on schedule, lawmakers said on Tuesday.

// Read at NextGov //


Let’s See What DATA Can Do

Change will not come instantly, and the legislation is not self-executing, but groups like the Data Transparency Coalition, a prime mover behind the legislation, appear poised to insist on full execution of the law. Implementation should not have the cost that the Congressional Budget Office estimated for it, and if it does, the billions saved thanks to availability of information to the public should justify the costs.

// Read at Cato Institute //