2Day in #OpenGov 6/23/2011

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Thanks to our Policy Intern Jacob Hutt for today’s round-up!

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:

Government

  • Lawmakers are frustrated with the lack of transparency in negotiations between Vice President Biden and six members of Congress regarding raising the debt ceiling. (The Hill)
  • The House Oversight Committee unanimously passed Chairman Issa’s Digital Accountability and Transparency (DATA) Act as well as Rep. Quigley’s Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act after including suggested amendments. (The Hill)
  • Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings is under investigation by a congressional ethics panel for allegedly sexually harassing one of his staff members. (Wall Street Journal)

Lobbying

  • Sen. Orrin Hatch’s long time tax policy adviser is leaving to join the lobbying firm Urban Swirski & Associates. (Roll Call $)
  • Twenty-two lobbyists have donated extensively to both parties, according to analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics. (OpenSecrets)

Technology

  • Multiple tech groups won Knight News Challenge awards for transparency projects including a web scraping tool and a rural component to OpenBlock. (Tech President)
  • Opinion: The Obama administration’s recent push for cutting waste must be matched by a commitment to open innovation and collaboration across agencies. (Open Source)

State and Local

  • Multiple West Virginia lawmakers on a ten-member committee responsible for creating new natural gas regulations for mining Marcellus shale have ties to the oil and gas industries. (Charleston Daily Mail)
  • Texas lawmakers decry intense lobbying efforts in current debates regarding the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, a public insurer which provides assistance to those affected by coastal hurricane damage. (The Texas Tribune)
  • Opinion: New Jersey Gov. Christie has made the state government more transparent but has failed to create transparency in the realm of political campaigning. (Philly)

International

  • Millions of Euros spent by lobbying groups are missing from the register where they should have been disclosed, according to ALTER-EU. (Corporate Europe Observatory)

Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 6/23:

Senate

  • None.

House

  • Improving Oversight and Accountability in Federal Grant Programs. Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations, and Procurement Reform. 9:30am. 2154 RHOB.
  • Full Committee Markup – FY 2012 Financial Services Bill / Correction to FY 2012 Energy and Water Bill. Appropriations, Full Committee. 9:30am. 2359 RHOB.

Relevant bills introduced:

  • H.R. 2271. A bill to prohibit the awarding of contracts by the Federal Government to Chinese entities until the People’s Republic of China signs the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement; to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Transparency events scheduled for 6/23:

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