2Day in #OpenGov 4/25/2011


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. You may notice the name change on this Monday’s post. Our “Day in Transparency” daily roundup is undergoing a slight rebranding and will now be “2Day in #OpenGov.” Never fear. It’s the same good stuff, just with a better name.

News Roundup:

  • The American Conservative Union is internally restructuring itself through hiring new, younger activists in an attempt to become more relevant. (Roll Call $)
  • Pat Bousliman, a staffer for the Senate Finance Committee and formerly for Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), is joining the lobbying firm Holland & Knight. (Roll Call $)
  • As of March 15, 2011, only 19 out of 41 agencies were in compliance with a December 2010 deadline set by President Obama for implementing national security classification policy reforms. (Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy)
  • Only 14 out of the 75 leading U.S. energy, healthcare and financial services companies reported payments to industry trade associations – associations which then spend millions in lobbying – in 2009. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) wrote a letter to Federal CIO Vivek Kundra saying, “I remain concerned with how the new lower funding level for the E-Gov Fund might not only impede the progress made thus far to make government more open and transparent, but also harm efforts to cut wasteful and duplicative spending in the federal government.” (Federal Computer Week)(Tech President)
  • Google and Eyebeam.org’s Data Viz Challenge winners graphically represented agency spending through a 3-D field of blocks, colorful floating balls, a giant clock, and pie charts. (Federal Computer Week)
  • After the 2011 Knight Open Government Survey found the Securities and Exchange Commission to be underperforming in terms of FOIA compliance, the SEC’s FOIA Manager contacted the National Security Archive expressing concern for the SEC’s underperformance and asking for steps to improve its performance. The SEC subsequently took the actions necessary to improve its ranking. (Unredacted)
  • Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) resigned to avoid public embarrassment regarding his extramarital affair with a former campaign aide. (Politico) New details might emerge despite his resignation, however, if the Senate Ethics Committee decides to make public any of the evidence it has gathered. (New York Times)
  • Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will have to choose someone to fill the spot vacated by Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) on the Senate Finance Committee. (The Hill)
  • The State Department has abandoned America.gov, and will be shifting resources to support its social media networks. (The Hill)
  • Blockboard is a new location-based mobile application that gives users access to information regarding what is happening in their local area and connects them with their neighbors. (GovFresh)
  • Opinion: Alan Simpson writes that special interests are running American elections and a system of small donor public funding of elections is needed to eliminate the conflict of interest that is detrimental to U.S. government. (Politico)

Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 4/25-4/29:

  • None. House and Senate not in session.

Relevant bills introduced:

  • None. House and Senate not in session.

Transparency events scheduled for 4/25-29:

Looking ahead at the weekend:

  • Transparency Camp. The Sunlight Foundation. 4/30-5/1. Microsoft. 5404 Wisconsin Avenue. Bethesda, MD.