Great article in NEXTGOV regarding the status of the DATA ACT. According to today’s article -- late last week - US Treasury issued a final version of the "schema," outlining definitions, time frames and standards for data sharing across government agencies. The DATA ACT requires the use of the XBRL data standard supported by the IMA to improve transparency and accountability of financial and business information using a machine-readable format that can be imported into Excel Spreadsheets for comparison and better analysis.
Management accountants in government and/or management consultants to government will be involved in the implementation and use of XBRL. To learn more about XBRL and its impact on management accountants please read this recent article in the IMA Strategic Finance Magazine.
US Treasury previously issued four draft versions of the schema, and released the final version after reviewing comments from the public.
The DATA ACT is a law that aims to make information on federal expenditures more easily accessible and transparent. The law requires the U.S. Department of the Treasury to establish common standards for financial data provided by all government agencies and to expand the amount of data that agencies must provide to the government website, USASpending. The goal of the law is to improve the ability of Americans to track and understand how the government is spending their tax dollars.
The law was introduced into the United States Senate during the 113th United States Congress. A similar bill, the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2013 (H.R. 2061; 113th Congress), was introduced at the same time in the United States House of Representatives. There was also a previous version of the bill (H.R. 2146) that passed in the House during the 112th United States Congress, but did not become law. On May 9, 2014, President Barack Obama signed this version of the bill into law.
US Government agencies have till May 2017 to comply with the DATA ACT.
The US Securities & Exchange Commission is using XBRL data reporting for more effective public company financial statement transparency and accountability.
Stay tuned as we learn more about the DATA Act and US SEC efforts to move XBRL across the capital markets across other asset classes in the United States to protect both investors and taxpayers.
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