Today in #OpenGov 9/23/2013


National News

  • Last week, the Department of Defense made headlines for lacking a functioning fax machine with which to accept FOIA requests. This week, the machine appears to have been replaced, despite initial estimates by the DoD that it would have to wait until the new fiscal year to get its FOIA process back up and running. (The Verge)
  • A top FCC staffer is heading to lobbing behemoth Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. Gregory Guice, who most recently led the FCC’s legislative affairs shop and has been with the regulator for more than a decade, will join the number 2 lobbying firm in D.C., likely working with telecom clients like AT&T, Cox, and more. (The Hill)
  • The party fundraising committees reported their most recent results last week and the results were a mixed bag. The RNC continues to out-raise the DNC by handy margins, while on the Congressional side the DCCC and DSCC pulled in more than their Republican counterparts. (POLITICO, POLITICO, Roll Call)
  • It has become relatively common knowledge that President’s like to reward big donors and bundlers with cushy ambasadorial gigs, but this handy map makes it clear just how wide-spread the practice is under Obama. (Public Integrity)

International News

  • Code for America Brigades have been springing up across America for some time, and now they are making the trip across the ocean. The local civic hacking program will expand internationally with groups in Ireland, Japan, and Poland. (Code for America)
  • There is no shortage of parliamentary monitoring organizations in Africa as this list, complete with links and other information, makes clear. (Indigo Trust)
  • Six years ago civil society groups in Palestine nearly passed an access to information law. This year they are giving it another go with a new report and push for the Palestinian Authority to institute a law. (Transparency International)

State and Local News

  • As Mayor Michael Bloomberg runs out the clock on his time at the helm of New York troubling news is emerging about his records retention policies. The city is only planning to save emails from a small number of agencies to ward off against future litigation. No decision has been made about emails from the NYPD, FDNY, and Department of Education. (DNA Info)
  • In more New York News, Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed three special advisors to push forward on the state’s open data initiatives. Andrew Nicklin, former R&D director at New York’s IT department will lead Open NY. James Hendler, who was an advisor on, will work on the platform. He will be joined by Theresa Pardo, director of the Center for Technology in Government at the University of Albany. (Tech President)

Bills in Congress

  • H.R. 3155 To promote transparency, accountability, and reform within the United Nations System and for other purposes.


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