January, 2020

2020 will be a critical year for the modernization of government and regulatory reporting.

On December 30, 2019, the President signed the Grants Reporting Efficiency And Transparency (GREAT) Act (https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/150) into law, which requires the use of data standards in grants reporting. The GREAT Act dovetails with the President’s Management Agenda, Results-Oriented Accountability for Grants (https://www.performance.gov/CAP/grants), an initiative calling for greater accountability in federal awards reporting. The GREAT Act aims to modernize reporting by Federal grants recipients, reduce burden and compliance costs, and strengthen oversight and management.

Separately, the U.S. Federal Data Strategy Plan (https://strategy.data.gov/action-plan), which provides a common set of data principles and best practices in implementing data innovations, was published on December 31, 2019.

And the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is the next big government agency to adopt standards for reporting entities under its jurisdiction. FERC is nearing completion of its taxonomy for utilities and looking to the marketplace for feedback on standards developed.

GREAT Act implementation will roll out over the next five years. Implementation efforts will be led by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the agency that manages the largest number of federal awards, Health and Human Services (HHS). Here’s the timeline:

  • One year after enactment, OMB will provide a report on whether nonproprietary identifiers should be used.
  • Two years after enactment, data standards will be ready, defined as (1) rendering information reported by recipients of Federal awards fully searchable and machine-readable; (2) nonproprietary; (3) incorporating standards developed and maintained by voluntary consensus standards bodies; (4) consistent with and implement applicable accounting and reporting principles.
  • Three years after enactment, OMB and HHS will issue guidance on how to apply the data standards. One year after guidance has been issued, each federal agency will ensure that all awards data is issued using the data standards.
  • Three years after enactment, guidance will be issued on requirements that audit-related data provided in the Single Audit Report must be reported in standardized format.
  • Five years after enactment, OMB will enable the collection and public display of federal awards data in standardized format.

OMB to revise guidance for grants in support of data standards. On January 22, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced proposed revisions to the OMB Guidance for Grants and Agreements, specifically the section supporting implementation of the President’s Management Agenda, Results-Oriented Accountability for Grants Cross-Agency Priority Goals (Grants CAP Goal). Grants CAP Goal seeks to reduce recipient burden, provide guidance on implementing new statutory requirements, and improve Federal financial assistance management, transparency and oversight, and has four strategies:

  1. Standardize the Grants Management Business Process and Data
  2. Build Shared IT Infrastructure
  3. Manage Risk
  4. Achieve Program Goals and Objectives

Comments concerning the revised guidance are due by March 23, 2020. Read the Guidance: https://www.federalregister.gov/

SEC Proposes Rule Amendments to Modernize MD&A. The amendments include eliminating certain items in Regulation S-K to eliminate duplication, including Item 301, Selected Financial Data and Item 302, Supplementary Financial Information. The rule also includes an amendment to Item 303, Management’s Discussion & Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (MD&A) to modernize and enhance MD&A disclosures. While the proposal does not recommend that structured data be required for the MD&A, citing cost and the principles-based framework of the MD&A which reduces comparability, the Commission does request comment on whether MD&A information should be reported using Inline XBRL. Comments are due 60 days after posting of the proposal to the Federal Register.

Read the rule at https://www.sec.gov/rules/proposed/

FERC extends public review in response to industry request. FERC has completed its initial taxonomy draft which covers financial information reported by entities filing FERC forms 1, 1-F, 2, 2-A, 3-Q electric, 3-Q natural gas, 6, 6-Q, 60 and 714. The taxonomy is out for public review. On January 21, 2020, the Commission announced plans to extend the public review period by 45 days in response to an industry request for more time. The comment period will now close on March 2, 2020. In addition, the technical conference, where vendors, issuers and the public are invited to provide more input, has been rescheduled. See details about the technical conference below. Read the extension notice: https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2020-00965.pdf

What: FERC Technical conference
When: 3/24-26 from 9 am to 5 pm ET
Where: FERC Headquarters, at 888 First Street NE in Washington, DC
How: register to attend https://www.ferc.gov/whats-new/registration/03-24-20-form.asp (not required but encouraged)

SEC to host municipal securities conference on March 10, 2002. The Securities and Exchange Commission announced “Spotlight on Transparency: A Discussion of Secondary Market Municipal Securities Disclosure Practices”, a conference to be held on March 10 from 9:30 am to 4 pm ET. at SEC headquarters in Washington D.C.  The event will be open to the public, with advance pre-registration available at https://regandsurvey.sec.gov/NoviSurvey/
aa45c&c=en-US. A livestream of the event will be available to the public at https://www.sec.gov/news/webcasts.htm.

XBRL US Activities

Upcoming XBRL US Data Quality Committee Meeting – Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at 12PM ET.

Get information about the Committee and register to attend: https://xbrl.us/dqc

Upcoming XBRL US Steering Committee and Other Member Meetings

  • The Domain Steering Committee meeting will be held Thursday, February 6, at 3 PM ET.
  • The Communications Steering Committee will be held Tuesday, February 18, 2019 at Noon ET.

XBRL US Members are encouraged to attend and get involved. Email membership@xbrl.us for details.


XBRL US Members are committed to engaging and collaborating with other members, contributing to the standard through involvement of their teams, and striving to build awareness and educate the market. Members of XBRL US represent the full range of the business reporting supply chain.

Not yet an XBRL US member? Maybe it’s time to consider joining XBRL US for yourself ($55 – $500/ year) or your organization (fees vary). Find out more about the benefits of membership and how to become involved by visiting https://xbrl.us/benefits.