The Day in Transparency 4/7/2011


Here is Thursday’s look at transparency-related news items, congressional committee hearings, transparency-related bills introduced in Congress, and transparency-related events.

News Roundup:

  • Lobbyists are busy managing clients who are getting increasingly nervous as the possibility of a government shutdown approaches. (Roll Call $)
  • According to a White house official, during a shutdown government websites “would remain operational” if they are considered “necessary to avoid significant damage to the execution of authorized or accepted activities.” (Next Gov)
  • Data comparing state debt at the end of the fiscal year shows that California and New York have the highest debt while Wyoming and North Dakota have the least. (GovFresh)
  • Six current and former employees from the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services, along with the National Whistleblowers Center, are suing three federal agencies and two agency chiefs, claiming that they refused to release records and deleted emails related to the whistleblower complaints. (Next Gov)
  • The first of two compliance dates passed for a Securities and Exchange Commission rule that prohibits investment advisors from being compensated for providing advisory services to a government entity within two years after a the advisor or an associate makes a contribution to the government entity. (Lobby Comply Blog)
  • After public outcry regarding budget proposals that would almost entirely cut the budget for E-Government initiatives including, half the current funding was included in a more recent budget proposal. (Federal Computer Week)
  • The first NASA Open Source Summit discussed why open source is a valuable tool for NASA as it moves forward with its open government initiatives. (O’Reilly Radar)
  • SF Environment’s Internet Communications Coordinator, Lawrence Grodeska, discusses SF Environment’s approach to open data. (GovFresh)

Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 4/7:


  • Appropriations. 10:00am. Commerce, Justice, and Science Subc.  On the FY 2012 budget request from the National Institute of Standards and Technology.  Dept. witnesses.  H-309 Capitol.


  • Judiciary. 10:00am. Business meeting to consider S.410, to provide for media coverage of Federal court proceedings, S.627, to establish the Commission on Freedom of Information Act Processing Delays, S.394, to amend the Sherman Act to make oil-producing and exporting cartels illegal. Senate Dirksen Building, 226.
  • Small Business and Entrepreneurship. 10:00am. Hearings to examine Small Business Administration programs, focusing on eliminating inefficiencies, duplications, and fraud and abuse. Senate Russell Building, 428A.

Relevant bills introduced:


  • H.R. 1401. A bill to amend the Federal Reserve Act to alter the terms and conditions applicable to members of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Financial Services.
  • H.R. 1404. A bill to reform the financing of House elections, and for other purposes; to the Committee on House Administration.
  • H.J. Res. 54. A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relative to balancing the budget; to the Committee on the Judiciary.


  • S. 737. A bill to replace the Director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection with a 5-person Commission, to bring the Bureau into the regular appropriations process, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.
  • S. 743. A bill to amend chapter 23 of title 5, United States Code, to clarify the disclosures of information protected from prohibited personnel practices, require a statement in nondisclosure policies, forms, and agreements that such policies, forms, and agreements conform with certain disclosure protections, provide certain authority for the Special Counsel, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
  • S. 746. A bill to repeal provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act; to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.
  • S. 749. A bill to establish a revenue source for fair elections financing of Senate campaigns by providing an excise tax on amounts paid pursuant to contracts with the United States Government; to the Committee on Finance.

Transparency events scheduled for 4/7: