The Government Information Transparency Act (H.R. 2392), introduced May 14 by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), would standardize the collection of business information throughout agencies. It would require agencies to use a single data standard known as eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) and require that collected information be made readily available for public access.

Of course, this begs the question of what data will be collected.  Once decided, a taxonomy can be easily assembled that would collect the data in a uniform way.  Software companies in the XBRL space have developed web-based html driven fill in the blank data collection devices that convert cell entries into XBRL unseen by the end user.  This requires a mind shift from a report-based approach to a data-based approach to receiving feedback on TARP projects.  It also requires government agencies to centralize their data requests rather than each agency develop their own required paper-based reports.

The key again is to formulate the taxonomy, collect the data, then develop reports using a common data repository.   To see how this approach can work, take a look the Dutch Taxonomy Project ) or the Bank of Japan project detailed here http://www.xbrl.org/CaseStudies/BoJ_XBRL_06.pdf

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