- A bipartisan group of lawmakers urged President Obama to enforce enhanced whistleblower protections that were included in the recent defense authorization bill. The President spoke critically of the provisions while signing the larger bill into law. (Federal Computer Week)
- The 2012-2013 flu season has reached epidemic levels in the US, leading public health and local government officials to embrace new technologies to spread information and help citizens connect to health care. (GovFresh)
- The Center for Technology in Government is looking at considerations that government’s should take before releasing data to the public. A paper on the issue, The Dynamics of Opening Government Data, evaluates open data releases from New York City and Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Government Technology)
- Now that Obama for America is being converted into a 501(c)4 advocacy group many questions are being raised about the future of the group and its ability to focus primarily on politics. 501(c)4’s are not supposed to have electoral politics as their main focus, but can run “issue ads”. (NPR)
- Government watchdogs have found much to be disappointed with after President Obama promised to lead the most transparent administration in history. His record on ethics, campaign finance, and transparency looks decidedly mixed. (Roll Call)
- While few observers expect sweeping changes in the way that the Obama administration handles K street in its second term, many expect it to become easier for lobbyists to obtain waivers to work in the White House. (Roll Call)
RELEVANT BILLS INTRODUCED:
- H.R. 269. The Fair Elections Now Act.
- H.R. 270. Empowering Citizens Act.
- H.R. 313. To amend title 5, US Code, to institute spending limits and transparency requirements for Federal conference and travel expenditures, and for other purposes.
- H.R. 314. To provide for Inspector General oversight for Federal entities not otherwise subject to such oversight, and for other purposes.
- H.R. 317. To amend title 31, US Code, to provide for transparency of payments made from the Judgement Fund.
HAPPENING THIS WEEK 1/22-1/25:
- Campaign Finance after Citizens United: What happened? What now? Cato Institute. Wed. 1/23. 9:00 am – 12:30 pm. 1000 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20001.
- Data Innovation in Government. Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. Thurs. 1/24. 9:00 0 10:30 am. 1101 K Street, NW, Suite 610, Washington, DC 20005.