2Day in #OpenGov 4/27/2011


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:

  • The top lobbyist at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said in an interview that the Chamber “is not going to tolerate” any moves by the White House to require government contractors to disclose political spending. (New York Times)
  • The largest firefighters union in the country has announced that it will not be donating to federal candidates this year because Members of Congress are not providing sufficient support for the union in its fight against anti-union measures. (Washington Times)
  • Lobbying disclosure records reveal that major lobbying firms and trade groups have been lobbying on tax reform policies. (The Hill)
  • Agencies are classifying more information despite orders from President Obama to be more selective in what is classified. (Federal Times)
  • The printing and mailing of hard copies of the Federal Register is set to end on May 13, and is expected to save the government over $4 million per year. The publication will still be available online. (Federal Computer Week)
  • The American Customer Satisfaction Index quarterly report shows that citizens are highly satisfied with federal government websites. (Federal Times)
  • At the behest of its Chairman and Chief Executive, the private non-profit Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (Finra) is attempting to replace the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as the main Wall Street oversight and enforcement body. (New York Times)
  • The State Department Inspector General position has remained vacant since 2007, leaving a deputy to run the office. While the deputy claims to have doubled staff and tripled investigations, critics are calling for the White House to appoint an independent inspector. (Washington Post)
  • An Office of Management and Budget memo directs agencies to publicly release their initial plans for streamlining and potentially repealing federal regulations by June 1st. (Government Executive)
  • President Obama plans to restructure top national security leadership by replacing Defense Secretary Robert Gates with CIA Director Leon Panetta, and naming General David Petraeus as the new CIA Director. The plans are not final. (Washington Times)
  • The Open Data Protocol provides advanced opportunities for aggregating online data by overcoming some of the difficulties created by individual services all having their own different APIs. (O’Reilly Radar)
  • The Center for Public Integrity has launched a new website for reporting accountability and oversight news in beta form. (The Center for Public Integrity Paper Trail Blog)
  • Lessons learned at the April 26 Federal IT Acquisition Summit include the increased chances of success for Federal IT professionals who improve communication with program managers and increase the transparency of their activities. (Federal Computer Week)
  • The White House’s proposed rule on Organizational Conflicts of Interest (OCIs) differs from the rule drafted by the Department of Defense in 2010. (Federal Computer Week)
  • Development Seed has released a cloud-based hosting for maps created using their mapping design tool, MapBox, in an attempt to make mapping easier for organizations and activists. (O’Reilly Radar)

Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 4/27:

  • None. House and Senate not in session.

Relevant bills introduced:

  • None. House and Senate not in session.

Transparency events scheduled for 4/27:

Looking ahead at the weekend:

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