Collected today by Policy Intern Jacob Hutt.
Here is Friday’s look at transparency-related news items, congressional committee hearings, transparency-related bills introduced in Congress, and transparency-related events. See the original on the blog.
- Rep. Mike Quigley introduced the Lobbyist Disclosure Enhancement Act on Thursday, which, among other things, would require lobbyists to disclose which Member offices they meet with and would eliminate the 20 percent threshold. (Roll Call)
- The Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act, which will centralize all federal reports from agencies in one website, passed unanimously out of the House Oversight committee (Sunlight Foundation)
- Opinion: the resignation of Chief Technology Officer Vivek Kundra last week marks the demise of Obama’s open government initiative. (Washington Post) Counter-point: (GovFresh.com)
- The House Oversight and Government Reform procurement reform subcommittee seeks more transparency and accountability in the awarding of federal grants, after a GAO released report highlighted weaknesses in this process. (Federal Times)
- Supporters of Republican presidential-hopeful Mitt Romney unveiled a new Super PAC on Thursday afternoon, which will be run in part by strategists who led Romney’s unsuccessful presidential bid in 2008. (Washington Post)
- President Obama wants $60 million in campaign cash by the end of the first quarter, which would match what President George W. Bush raised in the same time period of his campaign in conjunction with the RNC. (Roll Call)
Access to Information
- A new FOIA lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Energy seeks access to a report concerning the relationship between the nation’s water resources and energy needs. (PR Newswire)
- Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner reported that banks have spent huge sums of money lobbying against rules enacted as part of the Dodd-Franklin financial overhaul bill. (Wall Street Journal)
- The private prison lobby has spent millions of dollars trying to lengthen prison sentences and create harsher penalties, according to a report by the Justice Policy Institute. (ThinkProgress)
- A member of UK’s Parliament called for the greater transparency in housing associations, which provide affordable housing to millions of tenants and could soon be under the scope of the Freedom of Information Act. (Harrogate News)
- A new online tool for lobbyist registration in the Council, Parliament, and Commission of the European Union boosts transparency in the EU. (EurActiv)
- The Chief Minister of Australia announced plans for a new Open Government transparency initiative that will, among other things, report cabinet discussions to the public and publish freedom of information documents on a single website. (Canberra Times)
Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 6/24:
Relevant bills introduced:
- H.R. 2339. A bill to create a Lobbying Disclosure Act Task Force, and to make certain modifications to the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995; to the Committee on the Judiciary.
- H.R. 2340. A bill to amend the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, the Rules of the House of Representatives, the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995, and the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 to improve access to information in the legislative and executive branches of the Government, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and in addition to the Committees on Rules, House Administration, the Judiciary, and Ethics, 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 6/24:
- Social Media Marketing Strategies in Government Contracting. Shulman Rogers, SBDC and DC Connections. 7:30am-9:30am. 12505 Park Potomac Avenue, Sixth Floor. Potomac, Maryland.