2Day in #OpenGov 4/28/2011


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

News Roundup:

  • Led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, 27 Senate Republicans sent a letter to President Obama warning him that they oppose his planned executive order requiring contractors to disclose political contributions before being awarded a federal contract. (The Hill)(Government Executive)
  • Slate’s Fred Kaplan suggested implementing an automated system that would give an alert when a document hits its Sunshine Date to help overcome logistical barriers to transparency goals. (Tech President)
  • The North Carolina state legislature has introduced a bill that would limit pay-to-play activities. (Lobby Comply Blog)
  • The Iowa state legislature has passed a bill streamlining lobbyist reporting and registration requirements. The bill is now waiting to be approved by Governor Branstad. (Lobby Comply Blog)
  • Rep. Dean Heller has been appointed to fill the spot vacated by Sen. John Ensign. (Roll Call $)
  • Five months after her trial was postponed and the investigation reopened, the ethics investigation into Rep. Maxine Waters appears to be going nowhere. (Politico)
  • President Obama issued an executive order requiring federal agencies to improve their customer service within six months using technology. (Government Executive)(NextGov)
  • While citizens are generally satisfied with federal websites, Treasury.gov, EPA.gov, and FDA.gov have low satisfaction scores. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Spanish-language portal, GSA’s Gobierno.gov, and NOAA’s homepage have the highest scores. (Federal Computer Week)
  • A recent report found that the federal government could save $14.4 billion in the first year if it migrates to cloud computing. (Government Technology)
  • The Director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement criticized the government for a lack of oversight for offshore drilling contractors. (ProPublica)
  • FedSources research groups predicts that federal contract spending next year will remain constant or decline. (Federal Times)
  • Opinion: Two OMB Watch staff members identify several necessary lobbying reforms: requiring federal employees to complete an online form within 24 hours of a lobbyist communication, expand data collected on the SF-LLL disclosure form, broaden who is required to file SF-LLL forms, and enforce existing civil penalties for noncompliance. (Truthout)
  • Opinion: GovFresh’s Luke Fretwell writes that ForSee Results’ quarterly citizen satisfaction with government website reports does not add value to the government web community.

Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 4/28:

  • None. House and Senate not in session.

Relevant bills introduced:

  • None. House and Senate not in session.

Transparency events scheduled for 4/28:

Looking ahead at the weekend:

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