XBRL Extension for Construction, Energy and Transportation  

The DATA Act and Caltrans

Helping Caltrans transition yesterdays Project Status Connection to tomorrow's DATA Act Compliance


2:00 - 2:15   AGC Surety Connection Project at CSU Chico

                    Jerry Hight, Director of Strategic Partnerships, CSU Chico

2:15 - 2:30   XBRL and the XBRL-CET Working Group

                    K. Dixon Wright, Chief Cat Herder XBRL-CET Working Group

2:30 - 3:00    Data Transparency Coalition - The DATA Act 

                     Hudson Hollister - Executive Director


1120 N Street

Sacramento, California 

Conference Room 6300

2:00pm to 3:00pm

Invitation Only

California State Capitol

10th and L Street

Sacramento, California

Eureka Room

9:00am to 1:00pm

Open to the Public

Caltrans has been an industry leader when it comes to innovation and data transparency, and for years has posted online monthly progress payments for each of its projects so that subcontractors and vendors on the project could know the status of payments.  

That information was not only valuable to the public, it allowed surety companies and other credit providers the ability to efficiently monitor their risks with timely information that indicated when projects were progressing well, or if risk factors like stop notices, liquidated damages and delays were signals that warranted investigation and possible proactive loss mitigation. 

The Caltrans online data transparency transformed the inefficient paper “status inquiry” that the surety would send out in the mail, and seldom receive back, into a valuable and consistently utilized underwriting resource and enabled Surety Based Risk Management.

While not originally intended for the surety industry, the ability for the surety to know which contractors were performing well, and just as importantly which contractors were experiencing difficulty, allowed the surety to be more flexible in providing surety credit and was an “unintended consequence” of posting progress payment information.

The impact was particularly significant with small business, where access to surety credit can be a barrier to participation.  Making data transparency an “unintended benefit” to small business.

Another innovative transportation agency is Virginia DOT, which also posts online how construction projects are progressing.

The AGC Surety Connection Project at CSU Chico created “Project Status Connection”, a prototype dashboard to demonstrate how the data transparency could be utilized by the surety industry by combining the Caltrans and Virginia DOT data into a single online dashboard that ranked the specific project data by risk factors of stop notices, liquidated damages and delays.   

Today that would be referred to as data analytics, performance measurement, predictive analytics or any number of other terms that describe how data can be made productive.

The DATA Act will compel all public agencies that receive federal funding to adopt data transparency for how the federal funds are spent, and each agency will be required to provide that information in a data standard acceptable to federal government, such as XBRL.

The DATA Act is not limited to transportation, but covers all federal spending and all agencies or entities that receive federal funding, so solutions must cross industry segments and service multiple stakeholders.

The nation’s leading trade association, the Data Transparency Coalition, is hosting California Data Demo Day to provide state agencies with general information on the DATA Act and implementation strategies. 

Afterward there will be a meeting at Caltrans to explore taking that “general information” and applying to a pilot project, the Lammers Road Interchange, to identify challenges to modifying the current data transparency to data transparency that complies with the DATA Act, and helps small business as an intended consequence.

The objective is not to deliver answers, but to establish the ongoing collaboration to explore the challenges and collectively find solutions.

Helping Small Business by Complying with the DATA Act

August 26, 2015

Sacramento California