A Beacon of Hope Beyond Political Polarization: TIA’s Impact on the FDTA

Congress Urges Financial Regulators to Implement the Financial Data Transparency Act

May 30, 2024

Truth in Accounting's drive for financial transparency has gained significant traction, bolstered by a bipartisan push from Congress. In a compelling letter dated May 14, 2024, a bipartisan group of Congressional leaders, including Senators Mike Crapo and Mark Warner, Representatives Patrick McHenry and Maxine Waters, reached out to key financial regulators. Their message was clear: it's time to act swiftly on implementing the Financial Data Transparency Act (FDTA). The key financial regulators they addressed were:

Secretary Yellen 

Chairman Gruenberg 

Acting Comptroller Hsu 

Chairman Harper 

Chair Powell

Director Thompson 

Chairman Gensler

Director Chopra

The letter underscores the transformative potential of the Financial Data Transparency Act (FDTA). This is not merely about bureaucracy but a fundamental transformation in how financial data is accessed and utilized. It highlights the importance of adopting open-source data standards and common identifiers, along with features like machine readability, search capability, and interoperability across financial regulators. These measures will streamline regulatory reporting, and enhance government transparency which fosters greater accountability. 

Here is where Truth in Accounting comes into the picture. The letter points out that private market participants and academics are already capable of analyzing government documents and generating insights without the need for manual data entry. We are one of the academics referenced in that May 14 letter. We secured a grant from the Mercatus Foundation to help develop some of the first taxonomies for small government entities to comply with the FDTA. Our research paper has been presented at numerous conferences, and we co-authored a significant research paper to be presented at the Brookings Institution’s Municipal Finance Conference in the summer of 2024.

Truth in Accounting has been a driving force behind the FDTA, from its inception to its implementation, because we are staunch advocates of government transparency and accountability. We provided extensive support for the law through numerous articles before its passage. Months after its passage, we chaired the first GovFin conference in Washington, DC, in November 2023, which initiated discussions on the FDTA's implementation. We are on the planning committee and will present at the second GovFin conference in New York City July 29-30. TIA will host the third GovFin conference at the University of Denver in the summer of 2025. This further underscores our expertise and inclusion as the academics referenced in the May 14 letter. 

The letter concludes with an appreciation for the regulators' prompt attention to this important matter, reflecting the broad support for the FDTA across the political spectrum. 

TIA is proud to continue advancing this legislation, furthering transparency and accountability in government reporting for all taxpayers. Thanks to our generous donors, all of this work to improve our government non-partisanly is possible.

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