The Day in Transparency 4/18/2011

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

News Roundup:

  • After budget cuts in the 2011 budget deal deeply impacted numerous government programs, groups are amping up their lobbying efforts to get funding back for 2012. (The Hill)
  • During Congress’ two week recess, K Street is stepping up its grassroots lobbying efforts regarding Congressional approval for free-trade agreements with Panama, South Korea, and Colombia. (Roll Call $)
  • The Georgia General Assembly passed a bill that requires lobbyists to report money spent on the behalf of or for the benefit of public employees when trying to influence public officials. (Lobby Comply Blog)
  • Campaign fundraising, as measured by direct contributions to candidates for state supreme courts, has more than doubled in the last ten years – increasing what Justice Sandra Day O’Connor calls the “wrong” of “cash in the courtroom.” (New York Times)
  • As Federal News Radio reported last week, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) said that it is his “personal pledge” to keep open government websites functioning despite $27 billion in budget cuts to the E-government fund. (Federal Computer Week)(The Hill)
  • The White House is offering the first official taxpayer receipt to show members of the public where their tax dollars are being spent. (Tech President)
  • Starting Friday, a database filled with performance reviews of federal contractors will go public. However, reviews will only be made public if posted on or after April 15, 2011. (Federal Times)
  • To celebrate the one year anniversary of its Open Government plan, NASA has created an infographic to demonstrate progress towards increasing its transparency. (NASA)
  • While federal agencies recovered an average of 81 percent of improper payments between 2004 and 2010, this high average masks some very low performers such as the Health and Human Services Department, which had a recovery rate of four percent. (Federal Computer Week)
  • Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) thinks the White House’s goal of recovering $2 billion out of the $125 billion spent in improper payments between 2010 and 2012 is insufficient. (Government Executive)
  • C-SPAN has begun filling the empty time during the quorum call by live streaming tweets from Members of Congress. (Twitter Media)
  • Opinion: Many of the financial disclosure laws governing elections in Oregon are “woefully out of date.” (Oregon Live)

Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 4/18-4/22:

House:

  • House not in session. District Work period.
  • Oversight and Government Reform. Full Committee Field Hearing. Mon. 4/18. 9:00am. High Tech Growth Policies/Industry Best Practices. San Jose City Hall. 200 East Santa Clara Street. San Jose, California.

Senate:

  • None. Senate stands adjourned until May 2, 2011.

Relevant bills introduced:

House:

  • H.R. 1573. A bill to facilitate implementation of title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, promote regulatory coordination, and avoid market disruption; referred to the Committee on Financial Services, and in addition to the Committee on Agriculture, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.
  • H.R. 1626. A bill to amend chapter 9 of title 44, United States Code, to limit the printing of the Congressional Record, and for other purposes; to the Committee on House Administration.
  • H.R. 1640. A bill to amend the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 to bring the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection into the regular appropriations process, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Financial Services.
  • H. Res. 230. A resolution amending the Rules of the House of Representatives to provide that the House may not consider any reported bill until at least 72 hours after it is reported; to the Committee on Rules.

Senate:

  • None. Senate stands adjourned until May 2, 2011.

Transparency events scheduled for 4/18-4/22:

  • Netsquared Meetup.¬†Tues. 4/19. 7:00pm. Affinity Lab. 920 U Street. Washington, DC.

 

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