Washington, D.C. – Today, the Data Foundation and LexisNexis® Risk Solutionsreleased a new report, Who is Who and What is What? The Need for Universal Entity Identification in the United States. The report outlines the need for the U.S. government to adopt a universal method of entity identification in order to verify companies, nonprofits, and other organizations using a single, common unique identifier. More than 15 government, private sector, and tech experts were interviewed for this report.
The solution to this need already exists: the global Legal Entity Identifier (LEI), which is already used by over 90 government agencies around the world. The LEI is a standard, non-proprietary, verified identification code that is managed by a global, federated system. It already enjoys support from major players in the financial industry.
Implementation of the LEI across all U.S. government reporting would have a range of benefits for industry, governments, watchdogs, and, ultimately, taxpayers. The LEI would create a single electronic view of all legal entities, knit together from their existing government reports - bringing transparency for investors, efficiency for regulatory agencies, and lower costs for the entities themselves.
“Inconsistent and various proprietary entity identifiers continue to lock up mountains of government data,” said Scott Straub co-author of the report and director of federal market strategy for LexisNexis Risk Solutions. “If the LEI was universally adopted in the U.S., it would give the government greater flexibility to be adaptable to a range of uses, some of which haven’t even been fully conceived. Ultimately, government agencies, taxpayers, business, and watchdogs would have greater access to data and at reduced costs.”
“For decades the U.S. federal government and its contractors have been bound to an expensive, impractical proprietary entity identifier, the DUNS Number,” said Hudson Hollister, interim president of the Data Foundation. “Adoption of the LEI in its place would mean a full range of benefits for industry, governments, watchdogs, and ultimately taxpayers. The LEI is the entity identifier that would liberate our government from the current proprietary regime.”
Read the full report here.
Full list of interviewees:
More than 15 entity identifier stakeholders were interviewed, including officials from federal and state agencies, as well as nonprofit leaders, and outside observers.
About the Data Foundation:
The Data Foundation is the nation’s first industry-focused open data research organization. We seek to define an open future for our data, for a better government and a better society, through research, education, and programming. For more information, visit datafoundation.org.
About LexisNexis Risk Solutions
LexisNexis Risk Solutions harnesses the power of data and advanced analytics to provide insights that help businesses and governmental entities reduce risk and improve decisions to benefit people around the globe. We provide data and technology solutions for a wide range of industries including insurance, financial services, healthcare and government. Headquartered in metro Atlanta, Georgia, we have offices throughout the world and are part of RELX (LSE: REL/NYSE: RELX), a global provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers. For more information, please visit www.risk.lexisnexis.com and www.relx.com.
Mary Alice Johnson
Director, Media & Analyst Relations