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Financial Planning > Behavioral Finance

Regtech Officials Expect Action Soon on Financial Transparency Act

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Regtech officials anticipate congressional action soon on bipartisan legislation, the Financial Transparency Act, which Nick Hart, CEO of The Data Coalition, says will be a “game changer” and “really sets the stage for standardizing financial reporting across eight federal agencies.”

Hart made his comment at the Regtech Data Summit, which was held in New York on Tuesday.

The Financial Transparency Act is “not about new data collection; it’s really just about better using the data that we’re already collecting and changing the processes and strategies to make those data useful,” Hart said in his opening remarks.

Hart told ThinkAdvisor in a separate email message that he expects to see “a closely similar version of the Financial Transparency Act reintroduced in Congress early this summer.”

The Data Coalition anticipates the bill “will be favorably received and advanced by the House Financial Services Committee in a bipartisan fashion,” he said.

In the last Congress, the Financial Transparency Act, H.R. 1530, was supported by a bipartisan group of 33 cosponsors, Hart added.

Hart also applauded the Open Public Electronic and Necessary (OPEN) Government Data Act, which was signed into law by President Donald Trump on Jan. 14.

Under the new law, “all government data deemed non-sensitive will be made available in machine-readable data formats. Federal agencies will be expected to build and maintain comprehensive data catalogs,” Donnelley Financial Solutions (DFIN),  a leader in risk and compliance solutions, explains in a recently released white paper. “Every federal agency is now required to designate a chief data officer (CDO) to oversee how data is created and used, and these individuals will be tasked with implementing the various components of the new law.”

The CDO officers will also be part of a central Chief Data Officer Council. “One major challenge going forward will be how federal agencies establish and equip their CDO functions; they need to recognize, as the law outlines, the CDO function as a distinct and independently established function, apart from traditional information technology leadership,” the paper states.

“The hope is that CDOs will build communities of practice, and work with members of the council to share best data practices that could be implemented across other agencies, as well,” the paper continues.

“In the end, CDOs will not be chief information officers under a different name; rather, they will be the sentinels of quality, providing accurate and complete agency data, and, hopefully, they will help shift the prevailing culture to one of data management and data-driven decision-making.”

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