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Press Releases

Issa Introduces Financial Transparency Act

Press Release
Mar 16, 2017

 

Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Congressman Jared Polis (D-Colo.) released the following statements after introducing the Financial Transparency Act of 2017 (H.R. 1530). The bill is a bipartisan proposal to streamline compliance requirements for businesses and increase transparency of the information collected by U.S. Financial Regulators. 

The bill introduced today builds on Congressman Issa’s previously passed DATA Act to require federal financial regulators to adopt a uniform, open, electronically searchable data format for all the information they already collect. For information that financial regulatory agencies are required to make public, the Financial Transparency Act directs these agencies to make that information available online as open data — electronically searchable, available online, downloadable in bulk, and without license restrictions.

The Full Bill Text Can Be Read Here

 

Congressman Darrell Issa: “Passing the Financial Transparency Act would be a big achievement for data transparency and the openness of public information. What my previous legislation, the DATA Act, is doing to open up government spending through online, searchable and freely accessible data, the Financial Transparency Act would do for financial reporting information. Financial reporting often relies on cumbersome – and duplicative – paper or PDF reports that make it difficult for regulators, and the public, to track down the information they need. By updating the process to an open data standard for the information already reported to the nation's eight financial regulatory agencies, we’ll be able to reduce regulatory burdens on businesses, give the public and investors better access to information, and boost our ability to find, and prevent, instances of fraud.”

Congressman Jared Polis: "This bill is a common-sense solution, which will help make financial reporting more transparent, efficient, and accessible to the public,” Polis said.  “Access to financial information is a win for consumers, businesses, as well as regulators.”

The legislation has the support of the Data Coalition, a trade association that advocates on behalf of the private sector and the public interest for the publication of government information as standardized data.

Congressman Randy Hultgren, Vice Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Securities and Investment: "Fraudsters like Bernie Madoff have fooled major U.S. regulators because many are still using 1930s pen and paper technology to handle today's digital challenges. This archaic practice harms our investors, markets and consumers. We need regulators to use searchable, open data to improve transparency and reduce the time consumers and businesses spend each year on unnecessary paperwork," said Rep. Hultgren. "The Financial Transparency Act encourages data standards that would make regulatory filings more transparent, useful and efficient for everyone who generates, collects and uses the information. Better decisions by investors and regulators, and lower compliance costs, will translate to faster economic growth and greater confidence in our economy."

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