Here is Tuesday’s look at transparency-related news items, congressional committee hearings, transparency-related bills introduced in Congress, and transparency-related events.
- The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations examined the transparency created by the White House visitor logs this morning, with testimony from our Policy Director, John Wonderlich. (Tech President) The Committee raised concerns regarding allegations of meetings being held at Caribou Coffee to avoid disclosure requirements. (The Hill)
- 43 companies, organizations, and special interest groups employed at least three former congressmen as federal registered lobbyists last year. (Open Secrets)
- Daniel Schwager has been named as Staff Director and Chief Counsel for the House Ethics Committee. The appointment is expected to allow the committee to continue pursuing its investigation into Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA). (Roll Call $) (Politico)
- At a Tuesday committee hearing, House Oversight Chairman Issa said that the Presidential Records Act does not sufficiently cover official correspondence sent through private digital channels such as employees’ personal email, Facebook and Twitter accounts. (Politico)
- Advocacy groups and elected officials say that Arizona’s lobbying and financial-disclosure laws need to be updated. (AZ Central)
- Tennessee’s House and Senate have passed bills legalizing direct corporate contributions and increasing contribution limits out of committee. (Lobby Comply Blog)
- A new Knight News Challenge-funded project is arranging for daily livestreaming of Massachusetts’ Quincy District Court. (Tech President)
- The Interior Department is expected to release a commercial tool that will allow the public to manipulate their library of Earth surface images and data captured by satellite over the past four decades. (Next Gov)
- Innovative open government apps lack sustainability, as local governments often do not have the time or resources to maintain them and developers do not find them to be lucrative endeavors. (Government Technology)
- The ethics office for the federal government has proposed an exemption to conflict-of-interest laws that would allow federal employees to hold positions on the boards of non-profit organizations in their official capacity, in contrast to the Justice Department’s determination 15 years ago that these appointments violated the law. (Wall Street Journal)
- The Federal Communications Commission has revised certain ex parte and organizational rules. (Federal Register Watch)
- POGO’s Quote of the Day goes to Louis Fisher, former Congressional Research Service (CRS) Senior Specialist, saying he has never seen a credible argument for prohibiting the public release of CRS reports. (Project on Government Oversight)
Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 5/3:
- Energy and Commerce. Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. White House Visitor Log/Lobbyist Transparency. 10:30am. 2322 RHOB. (Featuring testimony from our own Policy Director, John Wonderlich!)
- Judiciary. Justice Department Oversight. 10:15am. 141 RHOB.
- Oversight and Government Reform. Presidential Electronic Records Preservation. 9:30am. 2154 RHOB.
Relevant bills introduced:
Transparency events scheduled for 5/3: