Workiva (NYSE:WK), provider of the world’s leading connected reporting and compliance platform, today applauded Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) for their introduction of the Financial Transparency Act (HR 4476) in the 116th Congress.
The Financial Transparency Act (FTA) would require eight major U.S. financial regulatory agencies to adopt uniform, machine-readable data standards for the information they collect from regulated entities. This proposal complements other legislative efforts to transform government data into open, searchable and downloadable formats without proprietary restrictions.
“The Financial Transparency Act is really about innovation and efficiency,” said Marty Vanderploeg, CEO of Workiva. “This common-sense legislation will ensure that all of the major financial regulatory agencies are consistent in how they align their requirements and compliance with our digital economy.”
“We are encouraged to see the federal government increase its reliance on technology to improve how agencies collect, use and publish data,” said Vanderploeg. “We help private and public companies as well as state and local governments better understand and leverage their data every day, so we know there is enormous potential for innovation and transparency by unlocking federal government data.”
The FTA has been introduced in previous sessions of Congress, but this is the first time the bill has been introduced by senior members of the Financial Services Committee, which has jurisdiction over the legislation. Rep. Maloney chairs the House Financial Services Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship and Capital Markets Subcommittee, and Rep. McHenry serves as the leading Republican, or Ranking Member, on the full Financial Services Committee.
The FTA seeks to modernize financial regulatory filings to gain similar efficiencies and benefits found in government innovation programs in tax, banking regulations and open data reforms. For example, in the 1990s, the IRS and state tax authorities harmonized data standards for tax returns, which transformed that industry by enabling e-filing. In 2005, the FDIC adopted data standards for collecting call reports from U.S. banks, reducing error rates by more than 33 percent and cutting weeks in preparation time.
Supporters of the FTA are looking to the early success of The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (DATA Act) that converts information about federal government expenditures into open and machine-readable data formats, and the 2019 Open, Public, Electronic, and Necessary (OPEN) Government Data Act, which requires all non-sensitive government data to be made available in similar open formats.
“The FTA has the potential to benefit all aspects of our financial regulatory system,” said Vanderploeg. “Compliance will become easier for companies, and financial regulators will be able to process and understand data more efficiently. Taxpayers, investors and innovators will benefit from the new transparency and access to financial data that until now has been locked away in legacy data formats.”
Workiva, provider of the world’s leading connected reporting and compliance platform, is used by thousands of enterprises across 180 countries, including more than 75 percent of Fortune 500® companies, and by government agencies. Our customers have linked over five billion data elements to trust their data, reduce risk and save time. For more information about Workiva (NYSE:WK), please visit workiva.com.
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