2Day in #OpenGov 5/4/2011


Happy Star Wars Day!

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:

  • Republicans at an Energy and Commerce Oversight subcommittee hearing yesterday (where our Policy Director John Wonderlich testified), claimed that the White House has not lived up to its transparency promises, and urged the White House to disclose lobbyist meetings. (The Hill)
  • The House Oversight Committee is investigating how the White House maintains records of social media communications and considering whether these communications should be preserved under the Presidential Records Act. (Federal Computer Week) At a hearing on the topic yesterday, Chairman Issa (D-CA) said that it is too easy for White House staffers to conduct government business using personal social media accounts and mobile devices. (Next Gov)
  • The Obama Administration appears to be getting ready to tackle corporate tax reform, which some say may be the most heavily lobbied issue this year. (Politico)
  • OMB Watch founder Gary Bass is organizing a coalition of advocacy groups to oppose efforts to cut federal regulations. (Roll Call $)
  • Lawyers are hiring lobbyists to oppose Congressional tort reform efforts. (Roll Call $)
  • Open Government advocates are not impressed with the new contractor database, the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System. (Next Gov)
  • An upcoming judicial nominee may bring an end to President Obama’s 2011 streak of having nominees easily confirmed by the Senate. (Washington Times)
  • Opinion: Public Citizen’s Robert Weissman writes and includes a petition in favor of the draft Executive Order that would require federal contractors to disclose political contributions. (Truthout)

Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 5/4:


  • Appropriations. Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing. Office of Science and Technology Policy Budget. 10:00am. H-309 Capitol.
  • Judiciary. Courts, Commercial, and Administrative Law Subcommittee hearing. 1:30pm. 2141 RHOB.
  • Judiciary. Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet Subcommittee hearing. Internet’s Domain Name System Oversight. 10:00am. 2141 RHOB.


  • Appropriations. Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee hearing. SEC/CFCT Budgets. 10:00am. 138 DSOB.
  • Finance. Budget Enforcement Mechanisms. 10:00am. 215 DSOB.
  • Judiciary. Justice Department Oversight. 10:00am. 226 DSOB.

Relevant bills introduced:

  • H.R. 1696. A bill to establish an Office of Public Advocate within the Department of Justice to provide services and guidance to citizens in dealing with concerns involving the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

Transparency events scheduled for 5/4: