2Day in #OpenGov 8/16/2011


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

News Roundup:


  • Club for Growth and Microsoft top the list of companies that have contributed to members of the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction. (Map Light)
  • Several members of Congress, including Rep. Paul Ryan, are charging fees to attend town hall events that used to be free, public forums. (Politico)

Access to Information

  • Residents in a small town in Washington state are calling on Congress to remove language from a new defense authorization bill that exempts information regarding military infrastructure from FOIA. (POGO)
  • Opinion: The federal court system should expand its pilot program and allow court staff to video tape more civil proceedings in order to ensure that trials are actually “public.” (Guampdn)


  • A group of law professors from around the country called on Congress to pass legislation that would subject Supreme Court justices to an official code of ethics. (NPR)

Campaign Finance

  • Republican presidential candidate Buddy Roemer, who has declined to accept money from PACs or contributions over $100, spoke at the National Press Club about campaign finance and the 2012 election. (Politico)
  • In an effort to raise enough money to be competitive in his presidential bid, Rick Perry is relying on lobbyists who could become a political liability further along in the campaign cycle. (Politico)


  • The FCC is investigating allegations that a public transportation board in San Francisco purposefully shut off cell service to silence protesters. (NextGov)
  • Todd Park, the Chief Technology Officer at the Department of Health and Human Services, is calling on private companies to take advantage of government data in order to help people make smarter decisions about medical care. (Tech President)

State and Local

  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a new ethics law that will establish a bipartisan, independent ethics board, expand the definition of lobbying, tighten reporting requirements for lobbyists, and put disclosure forms on the Internet. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Opinion: Honolulu CIO Gorden Bruce says that government should release data in machine readable formats and embrace the culture of full disclosure. (Digital Communities)


  • The House of Commons in England unveiled a plan to allow citizens to file e-petitions online. If an e-petition receives more than 100,000 signatures, a committee in Parliament will consider bringing the issue to the floor for debate. (Basing Stoke Gazette)
  • China’s Supreme Court ruled that citizens have the right to sue government agencies to release public records. (China Daily)
  • Documents obtained through Canada’s freedom of information laws suggest that Tories established a $50 million fund to pay for construction projects without notifying the auditor general that they had redirected money appropriated for border security. (CTV)
  • King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia was awarded a transparency award by the Saudi Saafa Best Model Foundation in recognition of his work to establish an ethics commission to investigate corruption. (Gulf News)

Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 8/16:

  • None

Relevant bills introduced:

  • None

Transparency events scheduled for 8/16:

  • None