2Day in #OpenGov 7/30/2012

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NEWS ROUNDUP:

International

  • Parliamentary monitoring tool launched in Ukraine: A civil society group posted online an evaluation of the members of Ukraine’s parliament based on six criteria. This was done in order to monitor the activities of the legislators and to potentially lower the amount of corruption in the country. (techPresident)
  • Growth in Cape Verde aided by effective e-governance: Cape Verde, one of two African countries that the World Bank has moved from “Least Developed” to “Middle-Income,” also boasts a robust electronic governance climate that boosts the stability and productivity of the country. (Global Integrity)
  • Indian state’s new website emphasizes transparency: Although the salaries of legislators are difficult to access and there is no bulk access to legislative data, a new website for Andhra Pradesh, India’s fourth-largest state, nevertheless presents a step forwards for the country’s local government in providing information to its citizens. (techPresident)

Government

  • Political group proposes possibility of unions between campaign committees and outside spenders: The American Future Fund and its PAC have filed a request with the FEC asking to clarify its rules on joint fundraising along with a number of recommendations for new practices. One of the proposals the group suggested was an closer alliance between soft (PACs and 501c groups) and hard (campaign committees) money groups, which critics blast as a mechanism for increased corruption. (The Hill)
  • Group drafts plan to widen scope, improve results of open government: The Center for Government Technology at the University of Albany (with the software company SAP) recently drafted a white paper document planning to use open government to improve intra-government relations as well as those between government and citizens. (Government Technology)

State/Local

  • Editorial: Cuomo’s confidentiality will cost him: The messiness of public policy inevitable in any government exists in Andrew Cuomo’s New York, the Times editorial board argues, but he doesn’t want anyone else to see it despite his supposed commitment to transparency. (New York Times)
  • Resolution passed in Mass. advocating for anti-Citizens United Constitutional amendment: Massachusetts became the sixth state to call for a Constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United by voting 35-1 on a measure supporting such an amendment. (MassLive)
  • Lack of legislative disclosure forms can lead to unseen conflicts of interest: State legislators often times face minimal conflict of interest oversight, which makes introducing and voting for measures simply to boost their net worth that much easier. (State Integrity Investigation)

RELEVANT BILLS INTRODUCED:

  • S.3432: Identity Theft and Tax Fraud Prevention Act. “Section 9: Restriction on access to the death master file. […] Section 11: Improve and make permanent the provision authorizing the Internal Revenue Service to disclose certain returns and return information to certain prison officials.” Referred to the Committee on Finance.
  • H.R.6183: Cyber Privacy Fortification Act of 2012. “An agency head may, for national security reasons, or to protect from disclosure classified information, confidential commercial information, or information the disclosure of which may adversely affect a law enforcement effort, waive or delay the completion of some or all of the following requirements: […] The requirement of subsection (a)(1) to make an assessment available for public comment… [and] an assessment or summary thereof published in the Federal Register.” Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.
  • H.R.6123: No More Solyndras Act. “Not later than 60 days after making a guarantee as provided in subsection (b), the Secretary of Energy shall transmit to the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate a report that includes information regarding (A) the review and decisionmaking process utilized by the Secretary in making the guarantee; (B) the terms of the guarantee; (C) the recipient; and (D) the technology and project for which the loan guarantee will be used.” Referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, 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.

HAPPENING THIS WEEK 7/30 – 8/3:

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