Today in #OpenGov 8/26/2013



  • Federal agencies have been successfully turning to cloud technologies to reduce FOIA backlogs. New technologies are helping agencies search, load, and process requests more efficiently. Meanwhile, some FOIA officer’s have noted the increasing complexity of many requests. (Executive Gov)
  • Prepaid debit cards, well known for their controversial celebrity sponsors and high fees, are in line for a special promotion on the Hill. Lawmakers that qualify will be treated to some lobbying by the Network Branded Prepaid Card Association’s new in house lobbyist. The six year old association has previously retained outside help to argue that prepaid cards can help unbanked consumers control their budgets, but is looking to add an in house lobbyist. (The Hill)
  • In the wake of secret court documents released last week that showed the NSA had unconstitutionally collected thousands of emails from American citizens the agency has acknowledged that officials deliberately overstepped their legal authority on multiple occasions over the past decade. (The Hill)
  • A nifty loophole allows lobbyists in at least 20 states to qualify for public pensions on their, often cushy, salaries. Lobbyists representing associations of counties, cities and school boards across the country are able to take advantage of state pension benefits without technically being state employees. (Yahoo/AP)
  • Experience shaping ObamaCare is leading to lucrative gigs on K Street for many former administration officials, lawmakers, and congressional staffers. More than 30 insiders who worked on the healthcare overhaul have moved through the revolving door into new digs at lobby shops downtown since 2010. (The Hill)
  • Bill and Hillary Clinton are looking to raise $250 million to endow their family foundation and ensure that the organization survives them. The fundraising drive is seen as a potential work out for Hillary’s 2016 fundraising muscle, although the pair avoided overtly political talk at their first fundraising event. (POLITICO)
  • President Obama’s two nominees to the Federal Election Commission will likely see a vote in the Senate Rules Committee in early September, setting up their potential approval by the full Senate later in the month. If confirmed, Democrat Ann Ravel and Republican Lee Goodman will join a body which has been stuck in gridlock in recent years with no signs of speeding up. (Public Integrity)


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