Policy Intern Adeeb Sahar wrote this post.
Here is your serving of today’s transparency-related news items, congressional committee hearings, transparency-related bills introduced in Congress, and local events involving open government.
- A Potential Step Toward Embracing Disclosure in Botswana: A Freedom of Information Act pending in the Botswana Parliament would provide citizens of the aspiring democracy the tools to hold government officials accountable. (MMEGI)
- Copyright does not act as a statutory bar to public disclosure in the UK: Although the UK’s FOIA states that public bodies must not disclose information where the disclosure is prohibited by or under any enactment, the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office found that public bodies that disclose copyright-protected information in compliance with a FOIA request are not guilty of copyright infringement. (The Register)
- Fasano honored for transparency push in government: Florida Sen. Mike Fasano (R) was awarded the 2012 Pete Weitzel/Friend of the First Amendment Award, an award given annually to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the cause of furthering open government in Florida. Although the article fails to cite the senator’s specific efforts to open government, Fasano has introduced in Senate a number of transparency-related bills including SB 304: Governmental Ethics and SB 224: Public Corruption. (The Miami Herald)
- Haley cleared in ethics investigation: South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) was accused of withholding from disclosure a contract with a lucrative engineering firm while she was also serving in the state’s legislature. Advocates of transparency in government cite some of the elements of this case in their push to improve ethics laws in South Carolina, one of few states that does not require state legislators to fully reveal who they work for or how much they are paid. (State Integrity Investigation)
- Syring nominated as head of the Missile Defense agency: Nominated by President Obama, Rear Admiral James Syring is a decorated Navy officer who has been awarded the Legion of Merit and the Meritorious Service Medal, among other honors, and currently serves as program executive officer for Integrated Warefare Systems at the Naval Sea Systems Command. (Executive Gov)
- Skadden hires former DOJ antitrust chief, Pozen: Sharis Pozen, the one-time acting assistant attorney general and previous head of the Justice Department’s antitrust division who helped derail a merger between AT&T and T-Mobile, will now work for the law firm that served as outside counsel for Sprint Nextel, which lobbied hard against the corporate marriage. (Influence Alley)
RELEVANT BILLS INTRODUCED:
REST OF THE WEEK: