2Day in #OpenGov 10/7/2011

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Welcome in the weekend with today’s look at transparency-related news items, congressional committee hearings, transparency-related bills introduced in Congress, and transparency-related events.

News Roundup:

Super Committee 
  • Ten members of the Super Committee received $83,000 in donations from PACs representing 19 of the biggest political donors in August. (NYTimes)
Government
  • Data.gov, Performance.gov, and USAspending.gov are likely to remain top priorities for the E-Government Fund in FY2012, according to a General Services Administration official. (Federal Computer Week)
  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid invoked a rarely used procedure – called the “nuclear option” – in the Senate last night to prevent Republicans from forcing politically-charged votes. (The Hill)
  • OMB issued final guidance on President Obama’s June 2010 memo seeking to prohibit registered lobbyists from serving on federal advisory committees. (POGO)
  • A commission established to advise state and local governments on how to implement cloud computing held its first meeting. (GovTech)
  • The EPA has not conducted a workforce analysis in twenty years, according to a new report released by the EPA Inspector General. (POGO)
  • Draft legislation from the OFfice of Special Counsel would prevent federal employees from automatically losing their jobs for violating the Hatch Act. (GovExec)
Access to Information
  • A new executive order will mandate that federal agencies better protect classified information while still maintaining inter-agency cooperation. (Gov Exec)(Politico)
  • If classifiers were required to justify their classification decisions more precisely then they would classify less, according to a new report from the Brennan Center for Justice. (FAS Project on Government Secrecy)
  • The number of FOIA cases filed nationwide increased 27 percent during the last fiscal year. (The Blog of LegalTimes)
  • Despite President Obama urging agencies to improve their compliance with FOIA requests, many apparently “missed the message.” (Investigative Reporting Workshop)
Lobbying
  • Active lobbying around the implementation of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill may leave some regulations effectively meaningless. (The New Republic)
Revolving Door
  • A top official from the Energy Department who headed the office that awarded Solyndra millions in grants is leaving the agency for a position at a Washington think tank. (Washington Times)
State and Local
  • New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg is transforming New York City using data to increase government transparency. (O’Reilly Radar)

Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 10/7:

  • None.

Relevant bills introduced:

  • H.R. 3121. A bill to require congressional approval for certain obligations exceeding $100,000,000; to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and in addition to the Committee on Rules, 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.
  • H.R. 3124. A bill to amend the Federal Advisory Committee Act to increase the transparency of Federal advisory committees, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, 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 10/7:

  • None.

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