2Day in #OpenGov 6/1/2011


Happy June! 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:

  • AT&T has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to lawmakers’ pet charities over the last few years, seemingly in an attempt to curry favor on the Hill. (Politico)
  • The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has filed a motion accusing Hyundai of North Jacksonville of breaking campaign finance laws while partially owned by Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) by reimbursing employees who donated to his campaign. (Roll Call $)
  • Almost a third of Blue Dog Democrats who left Congress in 2010 have moved onto lobbying shops on K Street. (iWatch News)
  • Budget cuts to the E-Government Fund are threatening the public launch of Performance.gov, a key component of the Obama Administration’s Open Government Initiative. (ExecutiveGov)
  • House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) has opted not to consider the Transparency and Openness in Government Act, H.R. 1144. (Federal News Radio)
  • A health care official from the Obama Administration has moved to the lobbying firm Glover Park Group to serve as managing director for government affairs. (Life News)
  • The Illinois State Senate passed legislation last week that would allow local governments to delay responding to FOIA requests once a citizen becomes labeled a “recurrent requester.” (Daily Herald)
  • Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas released the details of his wife’s income  from working for the tea party group Liberty Central. (Mother Jones)
  • The Social Security Administration (SSA) is planning to make social security statements available online. (Next Gov)
  • The Office of the Director of National Intelligence missed a self-imposed deadline for disclosing the number of government employees and contractors with security clearance. (Federal Times)
  • OpenDataStories.org is a recently launched website where people can share stories regarding the concrete benefits of open government. (Open Data Stories) In a similar attempt to show the benefits of open government, the Sunshine in Government Initiative has launched a database of investigative stories that rely on FOIA. (Sunshine In Government)
  • FOIA requests vary from country to country in both cost and time it takes the government to comply – from 189 pounds per request in Scotland to 748 pounds in Australia, and from just over 7 hours in Scotland to 56 hours in Australia. (Constitution Unit Blog)
  • A re-designed Utah.gov that uses Microsoft’s Bing search engine to increase usability has gone live. (GovFresh)
  • 95% of new government contract actions need to meet standards for being “green and sustainable.” (Federal Times)
  • The number of limousines owned by the US has increased by 73 percent during the first two years of the Obama Administration. (iWatch News)
  • Open Linked Data is a system “where the data is joined up like in a database but at the web level through the same linking mechanism that joins content to form the world wide web.” This data type may play a key role in shaping the evolution of Cloud 2.0 applications. (Cloud Best Practices)
  • Opinion: There have been more victories than losses for the transparency community in Texas. (Dallas News)
  • Opinion: Harvard professor Steve Kelman writes that, “In our current deficit environment, we should, in an analogous way, be soliciting the judgments of the millions of federal employees to locate wasteful government activities ripe for termination.” (Federal Computer Week)

Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 6/1:


  • Postponed. Corporate Campaign Contributions. Administration Committee. Elections Subcommittee hearing. 1310 LHOB. 10:30am.
  • Federal Reserve Lending Disclosure. Financial Services. Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology Subcommittee hearing. 2128 RHOB. 2:00pm.
  • Duplication, Overlap, and Inefficiencies in Federal Welfare Programs. Oversight and Government Reform. Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight and Government Spending. 2247 RHOB. 2:00pm.


  • None.

Relevant bills introduced:

  • None.

Transparency events scheduled for 6/1: