2Day in #OpenGov 4/29/2011


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

News Roundup:

  • House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa is investigating whether White House new media communications are being archived in accordance with the Presidential Records Act. (Politico). The White House has assured him that they are. (TechPresident)
  • Former White House officials Bill Burton and Sean Sweeney are forming a two-pronged Democratic Super PAC, Priorities USA and Priorities USA Action. (Roll Call $) One will disclose donors while the other will not. (Politico)
  • Over two dozen trade associations are circulating a letter in support of raising the debt ceiling that they are planning to send to the House and Senate next week. (Roll Call $)
  • The independent House Office of Congressional Ethics has launched six new investigations in the first quarter of the year. (TPMDC)
  • Despite the earmark ban, Prince of Pork Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) can continue to find ways to direct funds to his district. (Business Wire)
  • Recovery.gov’s Stimulus Spending Tracker is now available as a mobile app for the iPhone and iPad that customizes data based on users’ location to show nearby projects. If the projects aren’t what they are supposed to be, users can take a picture and send it back to the Recovery.gov team. (TechPresident)
  • The U.S. Commerce Department rejected a series of FOIA requests for a report investigating alleged excessive action by NOAA officials, claiming that the documents were “internal.” (Gloucester Daily Times)
  • Any real changes to government contracting will come as the result of Congressional action. (Federal Computer Week)
  • Danger Room’s Spencer Ackerman joins POGO to talk about conflicts of interest at DARPA, a Pentagon research agency that has awarded contracts to a company run by its director’s father. (POGO)
  • Iowa Governor Branstad is starting an online weekly address called “Ask the Gov” where he will respond to questions submitted by Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube throughout the week. (TechPresident)
  • One of the thirteen states of Malaysia has moved the country closer to the transparency of developed democracies such as United States, Britain, Australia and India by passing a Freedom of Information Enactment. (The Star)
  • New Hampshire Democrats have filed a complaint accusing former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney of violating campaign finance laws. (The Hill)
  • New government data reveals that the federal government’s total carbon footprint is 123.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. (Federal Times)
  • Opinion: An Oregon law designed to increase the state’s transparency by streamlining its Public Records Law may end up doing the opposite. (Statesman Journal)
  • Opinion: Despite clear Illinois FOIA law mandating the release of government records, the default government response is to hide information. (State Journal-Register)

Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 4/29:

  • None. House and Senate not in session.

Relevant bills introduced:

  • None. House and Senate not in session.

Transparency events scheduled for 4/29:

Starting tomorrow!

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