Here is Monday’s look at the week’s transparency-related news items, congressional committee hearings, transparency-related bills introduced in Congress, and transparency-related events.
- A top DC lobbying firm, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, has registered to remove an Iranian group from the State Department’s list of terrorist organizations. (The Hill)
- Lobbyists are buzzing around the Hill in anticipation of a tax reform battle this session, but some policymakers and senior staff doubt that such a reform is on the agenda. (The Hill)
- Despite the Democratic National Committee’s policy against accepting donations from registered lobbyists, other national committees – both Democrat and Republican – take in millions. (Open Secrets)
- Opinion: Regarding President Obama’s draft executive order seeking to require disclosure of federal contractors’ political donations, Michael Waldman writes that, “The president should ignore the howls and act to impose some modest measure of accountability on the new world of secret campaign cash.” (Politico)
Access to Information
- The FCC has taken steps to require electronic filing for ex parte disclosure, and to expand public and staff access to the records that influence the Commission’s decision-making process. (FCC)
- The Pentagon Papers officially went public today. (Politico)
- Just for fun… Boing Boing has published the National Security Agency’s style manual, obtained through a FOIA request.
- Opinion: A New York Times Editorial says that in regards to Schindler Elevator Corp. v. United States ex rel. Kirk, “Justice Thomas’s opinion is wrong about the text, context and history of the law.”
- The White House has released an executive order seeking to cut costs and government waste. The order establishes a Government Accountability and Transparency Board to achieve increased accountability, efficiency, and transparency. (White House)
- OMB sent a plan on restructuring the federal agencies to President Obama last Thursday. (Federal Computer Week)
- Billions of tax dollars are unaccounted for due to a lack of government oversight regarding federal counter-narcotics contracts. (Federal Times)
- Federal inspectors suggest that FEMA should use data mining software to prevent waste and fraud. (Next Gov)
State and Local
- IBM’s new Intelligent Operations Center for Smarter Cities technology will help cities integrate data from separate computer systems to facilitate data aggregation and analysis. (Government Technology)
Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 6/13-6/17:
- HHS Regulatory Reform. Energy and Commerce, Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. Mon. 6/13. 2:00pm. 2322 RHOB.
- Justice Department’s Response to Congressional Subpoenas. Oversight and Government Reform, Full Committee. Mon. 6/13. 1:00pm. 2154 RHOB.
- Federal Spending Transparency/Accountability. Oversight and Government Reform, Full Committee. Tues. 6/14. 9:30am. 2154 RHOB.
- Legislative Branch Appropriations. Appropriations, Legislative Branch Appropriations. Thurs. 6/16.10:30am. H-140. Rescheduled from June 2.
- Modernizing Information Delivery in the House. Administration, Subcommittee on Oversight. 10:00am. 1310 LHOB.
- SEC Oversight. Transportation and Infrastructure, Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management Subcommittee. Thurs. 6/16. 10:00am. 2167 RHOB.
Relevant bills introduced:
- Rep. Darrell Issa introduced the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2011, also known as the DATA Act, this morning. Our Policy Counsel Daniel Schuman just commented on the Act on our blog.
Transparency events scheduled for 6/13-6/17:
- The Hidden Budget: Tax Expenditures. The Advisory Committee on Transparency (a project of the Sunlight Foundation). 2:00pm. RHOB 2203. We hope to see you all there! If you can’t make it, video of the event will be posted here later this week.
- The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding from You. New America Foundation. 2:45-4:15pm. 1899 L Street, NW. Suite 400. Washington, DC 20036
- OpenGovDC: Open Source Tools for Open Government. 8:00am-6:30pm. Woolly Mammoth Theatre. 641 D St., NW. Washington, DC 20004.
- Devices are here. Is your agency ready? Microsoft. 1:00pm. Webinar.
- Startup Mixology Conference. Tech Cocktail. 8:00am – 9:00pm. Woolly Mammoth Theatre. 641 D St., NW. Washington, DC 20004.
- Defending the Digital Infrastructure. Juniper Networks and Lockheed Martin. 7:30-10:30am. Ronald Reagan Building – Hemisphere Suite A. 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. Washington, DC.
- Evaluating the Cloud Computing Act of 2011. Brookings Institution. 12:00-1:30pm. The Capitol SVC-209