Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The California State Assembly, Committee on Local Government, unanimously (8 to 0) approved SB 598, the Open Financial Statements Act.

If signed into law, this bill requires the creation of the Open Financial Statements Commission, a 9-member commission in the State Treasurer’s office, comprised of a representative from the Controller’s office, a representative from the California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission (CDIAC) who will serve as Chair, a representative from the California State Auditor’s Office, a city or county representative, a special district representative, a researcher with experience in government accounting who is affiliated with the University of California or California State University, a municipal bond investor, an IT professional from the private sector, and a person with knowledge and experience in data modeling for open data standards.

The commission would be tasked with contracting with vendors to build taxonomies suitable for public agency financial filings and creating a software tool that enables a public agency to easily create machine readable documents. The bill would require the commission, by January 1, 2021, to report to the Legislature and make recommendations regarding how and whether to transition financial reporting by state and local agencies to a machine readable format.

The next step for the bill is to go to the State Assembly, Committee on Accountability and Administrative Review, which takes place on July 3, and then to the full Assembly for vote.

Read the legislation.