Press Release

Data Coalition Announces 2017 Policy Agenda


Washington, DC — Today the Data Coalition announced its 2017 Policy Agenda, which summarizes advocacy priorities for the start of the Trump Administration and the 115th Congress. The Coalition, which represents 36 leading technology and consulting firms, is the nation’s only open data trade association.

On Tuesday, Americans voted to change a government that they perceive as complex, remote, and unaccountable,” said Executive Director Hudson Hollister. “Open data can do that. By adopting standardized formats for all its information, and then publishing that information as open data, our government can create better transparency to the public, enable data-driven management, and automate compliance tasks. But this can’t happen without the right leadership from Congress and the President.”

Highlights of the 2017 Policy Agenda include:

  • Strengthening the DATA Act. The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (DATA Act) already requires every federal agency to begin reporting its core spending information as open data by May 2017, using a data standard published by the Treasury Department. Congress should strengthen the DATA Act by centralizing Treasury’s authority to apply data standards to all spending information, including procurement reports, grant reports, and checkbook-level payment data. Congress should also phase out outdated and flawed legacy reporting systems, such as the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS), with more complete DATA Act reporting superseding them.

  • Open Data for Business Reporting. The federal government should transform all reports it collects from the private sector from documents into open data. Congress should pass the proposed Financial Transparency Act, requiring financial agencies to replace document-based reporting with open data. Congress should also lay the foundation for Standard Business Reporting, in which multiple agencies adopt the same open data standard for the information they collect, and which is already saving Australian businesses $1 billion per year.

  • Passing the OPEN Government Data Act. Congress should require all agencies to systematically standardize and publish all data that isn’t otherwise restricted. Taxpayers fund many federal programs that produce valuable data sets; such information should be universally available to the private sector in standardized, nonproprietary formats. The proposed Open, Public, Electronic, and Necessary (OPEN) Government Data Act would take a major step toward that goal.

“Open data is already modernizing the way our government collects and manages information. For one example, just this month the Securities and Exchange Commission will start requiring financial firms to submit asset-level information as open data for new classes of financial products, under Regulation AB II,” said Craig Clay, President, Global Capital Markets at Donnelley Financial Solutions, and a member of the Data Coalition’s Board of Directors. “There is an opportunity to deliver further transformative changes by enacting the Coalition’s policy agenda.”

View and download the 2017 Policy Agenda: http://www.datacoalition.org/issues/policy-agenda/

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About the Data Coalition

The Data Coalition advocates on behalf of the private sector and the public interest for the publication of government information as standardized, open data. Open data enhances accountability, improves government management, reduces compliance costs, and stimulates innovation. Representing a cross-section of the technology industry and implementers, the Coalition’s membership includes market leaders such as Workiva, Donnelley Financial Solutions, Booz Allen Hamilton, and CGI Federal and growing start-ups such as idaciti and cBEYONData. For more information, visit datacoalition.org.


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