2Day in #OpenGov 6/16/2011


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

News Roundup:


  • Federal CIO Vivek Kundra to leave White House in August for a post at Harvard (says Politico)


  • The Associated Press provided summaries of the 2010 financial disclosure reports for House and Senate leaders.
  • The government is far behind the private sector when it comes to using tools such as forensic technologies, analytics, open-source data, and triangulation techniques, to identify fraud and improper payments, according to OMB. (Federal Computer Week)
  • Sen. Saxby Chambliss released a mobile app – the first one released by a Senator, according to Chambliss’ press release – which allows users to call Chambliss’ office, check his position on issues, take constituent surveys, and obtain content from his office. (techPresident)
  • Obama donors did not receive special treatment in regards to federal jobs, events, or contracts, according to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. (Politico)
  • The White House did not provide an answer in a press briefing yesterday to why President Obama’s meeting on March 7 with Wall Street “types” wasn’t listed on his public schedule. (Politico)
  • Opinion: TechPresident’s Micah Sifry writes that, “The fact is, with Monday’s video attacking pointless and stupid government websites, President Obama has spent more time personally going after Fiddlin’ Foresters website than he has in pressing for an Ethics.gov website, despite his campaign promises.” (techPresident)

Campaign Finance

  • The Federal Election Commission (FEC) split along party lines and did not approve a proposal that could have led to greater disclosure and transparency regarding donors to independent groups likely to spend big on campaign ads in 2012. (Bloomberg) As of yet the Commission has been unable to update its regulations in keeping with Citizens United. (Roll Call $)
  • A Federal District Court judge has issued an injunction preventing the FEC  from enforcing certain campaign contribution limits against National Defense Political Action Committee, which plans to solicit and accept unlimited contributions. (Lobby Comply Blog) In addition to collecting unlimited funds to spend on campaign ads in support of candidates, Super PACs can now donate a maximum of $5,000 to the same candidate’s campaign as long as the funds are kept separate. (Roll Call $)

State and Local

  • South Carolina has passed a law requiring lobbyists and lobbyist principals to pay outstanding filing penalties before registering, reregistering, or continuing to lobby in the state. (Lobby Comply Blog)
  • When agency accountants in Arizona found out their books were going to be made publicly available online, spending reporting became more precise and transparent. (Tucson Sentinel)
  • Roanoke, Virginia is hosting an informational discussion session to train residents on using the city’s new interactive website. (Government Technology)
  • The Oregon House Committee on Rules passed a bill establishing a max of $5,000 per month on civil penalties for failure to file accurate statements. (Lobby Comply Blog)


  • New Zealand Green MP Sue Kedgley is promoting legislation aimed at increasing lobbyist regulation and transparency. (Yahoo! News) The Labour Party is in support of the proposed lobbyist register. (Scoop)

Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 6/16:


  • None.


  • Legislative Branch Appropriations. Appropriations, Legislative Branch Appropriations. H-140. Will begin sometime in the late morning, 15 minutes after the final votes on the Agriculture bill. 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. 10:00am. 2167 RHOB.

Relevant bills introduced:

  • None.

Transparency events scheduled for 6/16: