The Day in Transparency 4/13/2011


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

News Roundup:

  • Last week’s budget deal includes $103 million in cuts to Congress’ own budget, including a $13.4 million cut to the Library of Congress’ budget. According to Roll Call, if the budget deal is passed the Library will be “hit the hardest and would likely have to reduce staff.” (Roll Call $)
  • Also among the budget cuts in last week’s budget deal is $26 million cut from the e-government fund (Government Executive), which includes FedRAMP, the federal cloud security initiative.  (Next Gov)
  • New Mexico has passed legislation preventing the existence of a revolving door between state and local government and the contractor industry. (Lobby Comply Blog)
  • Houston attorneys and human rights advocates Brian Ettinger and Steve Payne paid for former Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA) to fly to Libya in an attempt to persuade Libya’s Gadhafi to step down. (Roll Call $)
  • Steven Aftergood reports that there have been no results from the Obama administration’s initiative, mandated by Executive Order 13526, to prevent the over-classification of national security information. (Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy)
  • With the support of OpenPlans and Civic Commons, a project associated with Code for America, the White House released the software code for its IT Dashboard and TechStat toolkit. (O’Reilly Radar)
  • Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel plans to open the city’s 311 system to the public, providing data in real time to engage the public and improve transparency in the city. (Government Technology)
  • Luke Fretwell gives the highlights of the IBM Center for the Business of Government’s guide to implementing open government strategies. The report identifies four phases of implementation along with challenges and recommendations. (Gov Fresh)
  • The White House visitor logs miss numerous visitors and often leave out information about White House visitors. (Politico)
  • Rand Paul is considering filibustering the budget agreement. (The Hill)
  • Opinion: Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) writes that the two major federal regulatory agencies, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission, will not be able to increase regulation in a transparent manner, as mandated by the financial reform legislation, if Republicans cut their funding. (The Hill)

Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 4/13:


  • Ways and Means. Full committee. 10:00am. Comprehensive tax reform. 1100 LHOB.
  • Appropriations. Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcommittee. 10:30am. On examining the fragmentation and overlap of federal education programs.  Dept. witnesses. 2358-C RHOB.


  • Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard. 2:30pm. Hearings to examine the President’s proposed budget request and oversight for fiscal year 2012 for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). SR-253.

Relevant bills introduced:


  • H.R. 1496. A bill to amend title 31, United States Code, to reform the manner in which the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is audited by the Comptroller General of the United States and the manner in which such audits are reported, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.


  • S. 799. A bill to establish a regulatory framework for the comprehensive protection of personal data for individuals under the aegis of the Federal Trade Commission, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

Transparency events scheduled for 4/13: