Posted on Wednesday, October 16, 2019

XBRL US supports the Financial Transparency Act (FTA) (HR 4776), which was reintroduced on September 24, 2019 by Carolyn Maloney (NY-D), Chair of the Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets, of the House Financial Services Committee, and by Patrick McHenry (NC-R), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee. This is a very important bill for data standards, with a stated goal:

To amend securities, commodities, and banking laws to make the information reported to financial regulatory agencies electronically searchable, to further enable the development of RegTech and Artificial Intelligence applications, to put the United States on a path towards building a comprehensive Standard Business Reporting program to ultimately harmonize and reduce the private sector’s regulatory compliance burden, while enhancing transparency and accountability and for other purposes.

Language in the bill calls for the use of a common nonproprietary legal entity identifier that is available under an open license, and for the use of data standards that render data fully searchable and machine-readable, enable high quality data through accompanying metadata, are documented in machine-readable taxonomies, are nonproprietary or made available under an open license, incorporate standards maintained by voluntary consensus standards bodies and are consistent with applicable accounting and reporting principles.

Key points made in the XBRL US letter:

  • The FTA is the first step towards adopting the kind of comprehensive business to government standards program which has been successfully implemented in other countries to reduce the cost of data collection and analysis.
  • Recent revisions to the FTA now include the requirement for common identifiers across all agencies and the creation of supporting taxonomies and metadata, to ensure that data reported and received is not only machine-readable (and therefore automatable), but clear and unambiguous to all stakeholders.

Watch the bill’s progress here.

Read the XBRL US letter of support: XBRL US Supports FTA 10_15_2019