2Day in #OpenGov 4/26/2011


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

News Roundup:

  • While Maryland lobbying reform efforts in the 1990s and 2001 have increased disclosure and transparency, the measures have ultimately contributed to the development of an unequal playing field where money buys access. (Maryland Reporter)
  • While Sprint’s lobbying efforts may not prevent the AT&T merger from happening, the efforts might still be beneficial to the company. (Kansas City Star)
  • Tennessee passed a bill that revises filing deadlines for employer disclosure reports from within 45 days of March 31 and September 30 to within 45 days of June 30 and December 31. (Lobby Comply)
  • Boeing and Obama’s close political ties have both helped and hurt Boeing’s interests. (Washington Examiner)
  • The Dodd-Frank reform is running into trouble in its implementation phase, as groups are spending big on lobbying to fight the reforms while regulators are seeing their budget allocations from Congress grow increasingly smaller. (BNET)
  • While Hawaii’s disclosure laws were intended to increase transparency, they have not been very successful. Over 90 percent of financial disclosures required to be filed by public employees and politicians never become publicly available. (Honolulu Civil Beat)
  • Missouri has moved up from 32nd place in 2007 to 10th place in 2010 according to a state ranking based on the quality of e-government services offered online. (The Smithville Herald)
  • The South Carolina Senate Finance Committee has weakened a provision passed by the House that would eliminate taxpayer-funded lobbying. (The Nerve)
  • Philadelphia has launched OpenDataPhilly, an open data portal aggregating all the datasets the city has released. (Tech President)
  • After a long contracting and lobbying battle, the Pentagon has cancelled a program to create an alternate engine for a next-generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. (Next Gov)(Government Executive)
  • The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments today concerning the constitutionality of government limitations on the commercial use of prescription data. (The Hill)
  • A Michigan school district was able to save $60,000 in taxpayer dollars by taking one step toward transparency – putting its checkbook register online. (Michigan Capitol Confidential)
  • The different websites that developed ways to track where tax dollars go as part of Google and Eyebeam’s Data Viz Challenge came up with different required federal tax amounts even when using the same income information. (Next Gov)
  • A new audit has found that the Social Security Administration’s outdated systems may cause there to be errors in the administration’s assessment of administrative costs. (Federal Computer Week)
  • NASA and the U.S. Agency for International Development signed a deal to share more satellite data and mapping tools with international partners to improve disaster response. (Next Gov)
  • Opinion: Matt Asay writes that, “As the size of the tech pie gets bigger, and tech wizards reshape mega-industries like advertising, publishing, and more, those same techies increasingly compete on the basis of court-ordered injunctions and U.S. congressional lobbying… Sad, but true.” (The Register)

Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 4/26:

  • None. House and Senate not in session.

Relevant bills introduced:

  • None. House and Senate not in session.

Transparency events scheduled for 4/26:

Looking ahead at the weekend:

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