2Day in #OpenGov 7/7/2011

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Collected by Policy Intern Jacob Hutt

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

  • The White House refused to confirm a meeting between President Obama and Speaker Boehner on Sunday amid calls for greater transparency in the debt ceiling negotiations. (The Hill)
  • House Oversight Chair Darrell Issa admitted that the committee “could have done better” in its mission to cut waste and corruption in the federal government. (The Hill)
  • House ethics rules permit members to contact federal agencies on behalf of constituents, according to Roll Call Contributor David Simon. (Roll Call $)
  • Former CIA Director Michael Hayden called for a new, secure Internet infrastructure for certain critical services, one that would eliminate users’ right to privacy; the current Internet would continue to exist for users who wished to remain anonymous (Next Gov)

Revolving Door

  • A powerful Democratic lobbyist and former White House counsel joined the board of directors for Xe Services, the private security contractor formerly known as Blackwater. (The Hill)

Lobbying

  • Multiple lobbying groups organized efforts to mass tweet questions to President Obama during his Twitter town hall yesterday, with the Chamber of Commerce’s efforts garnering nearly a half a million tweets about small government for job creation. (Roll Call $)

Ethics

  • Democrats have targeted six Republicans in Congress for ethics violations, including five from districts where President Obama gained at least 45 percent of the vote in 2008. (The Hill)

State and Local

  • The city of Edmonton has launched an open data site, which maps the city’s public schools and 2010 voting results for mayor among other things. (GovFresh)
  • Two new measures introduced in California state government would bring greater transparency to public educational institutions and would force public entities to disclose agendas and actions. (Central Valley Business Times)
  • Opinion: Republicans in the North Carolina failed to live up to their promise of a more open government. (Charlotte Observer)

International

  • British PM David Cameron’s office unveiled what it called “the most ambitious open data agenda of any government anywhere in the world,” as it plans to release “key data” on schools, hospitals, courts, and transport. (Number10)
  • A British parliamentary committee responded to Cameron’s announcement saying that data dumps are not equivalent to genuine government transparency. (Public Service)
  • A powerful, former right-wing MP in Canada has registered to lobby the government on behalf of one of the largest greenhouse gas producers in the country. (The Tyee)

Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 7/7:

  • Legislative Branch Appropriations. Appropriations Committee, Legislative Branch Subcommittee: Markup. 11:30 am. H-140.
  • Mortgage Servicing Oversight. Financial Services Committee, Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee: Joint hearing. 10:00 am. 2128 RHOB.
  • Pending Legislation. Judiciary Committee: Full Committee markup, including markup of H.R. 527, the Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2011.
  • Republican News Conference on current situation of debt discussion. 2:15 pm. Capitol, Senate Radio/TV Gallery.

Relevant bills introduced:

  • None.

Transparency events scheduled for 7/7:

  • Accountability in Federal Contracting. The Office of Management and Budget White House Forum. 1:30 Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Rm. 430. [RSVP requested: 202-395-7254]
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