With XBRL already a recognized data standard that will comply with the DATA Act, with over 2,000 utilities, most financial institutions along with a number of large construction related entities already invested in transitioning their systems to XBRL in compliance with financial reporting requirements to the SEC, the reality is there is only one "Best Option" for compliance with the DATA Act.
It is XBRL, and only XBRL.
As long as the stakeholders are compelled to implement XBRL, then the objective shoule be to have that compliance produce other positive results:
Allow public agencies to work with their contractors performing under contracts impacted by the DATA Act so that the contractors administration of the public works contract supported agency compliance with the DATA Act.
Allow utility companies that have invested in XBRL for compliance with exporting financial reporting the SEC, to import financial and construction related data as part of their infrastructure development and maintenance.
Allow the financial services and surety industries the opportunity to develop specifically tailored financial/surety products and services enabled by interoperability.
Treasury and OMB will adopt "common data elements for financial and payment information required to be reported by Federal agenciesand entities receiving Federal funds" FFATA sec. 4(a)(2).
Treasury and OMB will establish government-wide data standards that "incorporate a widely accepted, nonproprietary, searchable, platform-independent computer-readable format," such as XML or XBRL. FFATA sec. 4(a)(2).
The key elements of the DATA Act that make a compelling case for all stakeholders is the fact that the DATA Act will impose compliance requirements on entities that receive federal funds.
XBRL Extension for Construction, Energy and Transportation
Stakeholders therefore include all DOT's, large capital projects like high speed rail and other transportation improvements with some federal funding, and most public agencies that receive that some of federal support.
By extension the compliance effort will impact the construction companies that work on public works projects, and the utility companies that are engaged at a federal level with the Department of Energy and/or FERC.
Whole there is been unanimous consensus that open standards and interoperability were desired, the reality of getting a consensus always made it unrealistic. There were too may entities in too many different industries that would have to invest and/or risk too much before implementation could be adopted. Unless they were forced to most would not take on the risk.
The DATA Act now forces the situation, and those do that adopt a way to comply with the DATA Act will not be able to receive federal funding, or participate on most public works.
That makes it a compelling case to adopt an open standard and interoperability.
But which open standard, and how that standard would enable interoperability remains an open question the DATA Act purposely left open so that the stakeholders could decide. While the legislation did not predetermine which standard would constitute compliance, the act did provide guidance