Data Coalition

On May 9, 2014, President Barack Obama signed the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act), Public Law No. 113-101, which had been passed unanimously by both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The DATA Act's passage and successful implementation had been the Data Coalition's top priority since its founding in February 2012.

 

Data Coalition and our government

We believe governments should adopt non-proprietary data standards for the information they generate or collect, and publish such information as machine-readable data, especially with regard to their spending, regulatory, legislative, and judicial activity.

The transformation of public information generated and received by governments from disconnected documents into interoperable open data will:

  • Strengthen democratic accountability by making public data more accessible for citizens and watchdogs;
  • Enhance government management by improving data sharing and analytics capabilities; and
  • Reduce compliance costs by automating reporting processes.

Data transparency also stimulates tech-sector innovation and creates jobs.

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Data Coalition Objectives & Activities

The DATA Act requires the Treasury Department and the Office of Management and Budget to consult with public- and private-sector stakeholders as they establish government-wide data standards for U.S. federal spending. The Coalition was the primary private-sector supporter of the DATA Act during its long Congressional process. Now that the DATA Act is law, the Coalition has shifted its advocacy from the legislative branch to the executive branch. The Coalition plans to work with Treasury and OMB to bring together private-sector companies, standard setters, and nonprofits to advise on implementation. At events like the Data Summit and Data Transparency 2014, the executive branch leaders working to implement the DATA Act will join the law's supporters to discuss the opportunities and ongoing challenges of opening up the federal government's spending information. The Coalition will also showcase its members' leading solutions to apply standards, republish federal information for taxpayers and investors, illuminate waste and fraud by applying analytics to newly-standardized data, and automate formerly-manual compliance tasks.

The Data Coalition, on behalf of both the private sector and the public interest:

  • Advocates legislative and regulatory mandates for data standardization and publication;
  • Educates government leaders, private-sector innovators, and the public on the benefits of data transparency; and
  • Convenes stakeholders to collaboratively design policies and build technology solutions that will drive the data transparency transformation.

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Data Coalition Agenda

I. Government Management

In 2014, years of persistent advocacy by the Coalition paid off. The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act) was unanimously passed by Congress and was signed into law by President Obama on May 9, 2014.

In 2015, the Coalition will:

Work to ensure full implementation of the DATA Act, which requires the federal government to transform its spending information from disconnected documents into standardized data.

  • Target specific changes to the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Computer Matching Act, the Federal Agency Data Mining Act, the E-Government Act, the Federal Records Act, the Freedom of Information Act, and other management laws to require data transparency.
  • Support state-level DATA Act-style reforms in states like Maryland, Ohio and California.

II. Markets and Economy

In 2014, the Coalition lobbied Congress and the Securities and Exchange Commission to adopt, and enforce, data standards throughout federal financial regulatory reporting.

In 2015, the Coalition will:

  • Pursue legislation for data transparency in financial regulatory reporting similar to the Financial Industry Transparency Act of 2010.
  • Work to stop XBRL exemption legislation, which would ban the SEC from collecting structured-data financial statements from the majority of public companies.
  • Encourage the universal adoption of the Legal Entity Identifier and open corporate identities and hierarchies.
  • Work to amend the Internal Revenue Code to transform nonprofit filings into data; encourage the US Patent and Trademark Office to collect patent filings as data.

III. Laws and Regulations

In 2014, the Coalition applauded the Senate's announcement in December 2014 that bills and other legislative information from the 113th and upcoming 114th Congress will be available for bulk XML download.

In 2015, the Coalition will pursue data transparency for federal laws, amendments, and judicial materials.

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The Data Coalition is focusing on implementation of financial data first per the DATA Act. Significant remaining work on Federal Government data will be next including Health Care data, HR Data, etc. The Coalition's membership will be transforming over time to include these business areas.

Visit the Data Coalition website at www.datacoalition.org for more information.