Senate Doesn’t Ask Questions on Open Government


According to Aliya Sternstein, the members of the Senate Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee failed to ask Aneesh Chopra, President Obama’s nominee as Chief Technology Officer, questions about his positions regarding open government and the use of technology in advancing open government during his nomination hearing.

The office of Chief Technology Officer will oversee many open government initiatives and is charged with formulating, along with the Office of Management and Budget and General Services Administration, an Open Government Directive directing agency heads to follow the principles set forth in the President’s open government memorandum.

The Open Government Directive is scheduled to be released on Thursday — 120 days after President Obama signed a January 21 memo on ethics in government — without Chopra’s input. (Update – commenter Stanley Buckley writes that the Directive is not set to be released, rather recommendations will be released on Thursday.) “I won’t be [presenting the recommendations] because I’m not confirmed,” Chopra said, according to Sternstein.

Unfortunately, due to the Senate’s lack of questioning, we did not get a chance to see how Chopra views his role as it relates to open government and technology during his nomination hearing.

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  • Correction: May 21 is not the due-date for the Open Government Directive.

    Please note that Chopra’s quote confirms that it is only “recommendations” that are due on May 21.

    We shall shortly see what that means.

  • They didn’t ask because they don’t care. Why would they want to make their jobs more difficult?

  • I was at that hearing. The only nominee of the five that got any hard questions was the FAA nominee. He only got a hard time because of the recent newsiness of the Buffalo commuter plane crash. Anesh Chopra and Larry Strickling pretty much got a free pass. This hearing embodied the *other* meaning of oversight.