2Day in #OpenGov 8/18/2011

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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

  • A letter written by a former SEC enforcement lawyer to Sen. Grassley (R-IA) alleged that the SEC destroyed thousands of records relating to cases when the SEC investigated a company but did not file charges. The records include reports on Bernie Madoff and huge financial firms such as Citigroup. (Wall Street Journal) (Rolling Stone)

Lobbying

  • A former Vice President of Goldman Sachs changed his name after leaving the firm and now works for Rep. Issa (R-CA) fighting against regulations that affect his former employer. (Think Progress)
  • As Governor of Texas, presidential candidate Rick Perry engaged in an extensive lobbying effort to direct federal funds to his state. (Huffington Post)
  • Private airlines have heavily lobbied the Obama Administration over a proposed rule that would limit the amount of time pilots can fly at night to reduce pilot fatigue. (Yahoo!)

Revolving Door

  • The average salary of state CIOs is lagging behind private sector equivalents, which may contribute to turnover as public employees leave government for lucrative private sector salaries. (Public CIO)

Campaign Finance

  • A former advisor for presidential candidate Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) is among a trio of conservatives behind the new Super PAC Citizens for a Working America, which is being transformed into a pro-Bauchman PAC to participate in the presidential campaign. (Washington Post)
  • Stephen Colbert declared that his Super PAC plans to be an “official, unofficial” independent expenditure group for presidential candidate Rick Perry. (GovExec)

Technology

  • The federal government has put a freeze on new federal websites. Federal agencies will also be required to review their web presence and offer suggestions to the OMB about how they can consolidate or streamline existing websites. (Executive Gov)
  • The Department of Agriculture is developing a single web portal that will allow users to access data such as satellite images and information about farm subsidies from a single source. The data was previously difficult to access. (NextGov)
  • Amazon launched a cloud-storage system that will offer services to the government in an effort to do business with agencies that have sensitive data handling rules. (NextGov)

International

  • Canada’s chief election officer is seeking approval to experiment with online voting in their upcoming 2013 election. (CTV)

Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 8/18:

  • None

Relevant bills introduced:

  • None

Transparency events scheduled for 8/18:

  • None
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