Policy Fellow Matt Rumsey wrote this post.
Here is the week’s last look at transparency-related news items, congressional committee hearings, transparency-related bills introduced in Congress, and transparency-related events.
Access to Information
- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, long the lone major conservative outside group in congressional elections, is facing stiff competition from right-leaning super PACs this year. In response, the Chamber is planning to spend more than ever on the 2012 elections. (Politico)
- A new PAC, fueled by the power of Reddit, crowdsourced its major issues. Test PAC, which has raised almost $10,000 so far, is going to focus on campaign finance reform and defeating Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), champion of the controversial SOPA legislation. (Roll Call)
- The General Services Administration is losing a member of its Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs to Heather Podesta + Partners. Patrice Willoughby, formerly GSA’s liaison to the House of Representatives, was approached by Heather Podesta about making the move. (National Journal)
- Federal agencies are taking different paths towards utilizing digital technology to reduce FOIA backlogs. There are several efforts underway, but officials acknowledged that they could be “harmonized”. (Next Gov)
- Civic groups are pressuring New York State officials to adopt an open government “to-do” list, hoping to improve the way the state makes use of technology to make information more accessible to the public. (Tech President)
- A discussion in Mexico City focused on progress, challenges, and opportunities around transparency issues in Latin America. Representatives from Latin American countries that are scheduled to present their OGP action plans in April participated. (Global Integrity)
Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 3/23:
Relevant bills introduced:
- H.R. 4232. To amend section 522 of title 5, United States Code (popularly referred to as the Freedom of Information Act), to provide that the exemptions to that section shall not apply to matters relating to certain transactions executed by an instrumentality of the Federal Government operating in a commercial manner. Referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.