The Securities and Exchange Commission has set up a new unit to speed the move to interactive financial reporting by public companies.

SEC Chairman Christopher Cox appointed David Blaszkowsky, an 11-year veteran of McGraw-Hill who spent seven years at the company's Standard & Poor's division, to head the department as director of interactive disclosure. He will coordinate the agency-wide disclosure modernization effort, working with investor groups, analysts, journalists and financial statement preparers.

Last month, the SEC announced the release of interactive data tags in the Extensible Business Reporting Language for the entire set of generally accepted accounting principles (see SEC Pushes XBRL Tags for GAAP).

Sunir Kapoor, CEO of UBMatrix, a company that has been developing XBRL technology since 2000, noted that Blaszkowsky's association with Standard & Poor's is significant.

"One of the reasons cited with the sub-prime mortgage meltdown is the lack of transparency," he said. "The rating of the organizations ultimately underwriting the loans clearly has been dubious. If you have a standard way to track information and validate its accuracy, you can just carry out your mission more effectively."

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