- The omnibus spending bill being considered by Congress contains slightly more money for the FEC in 2014 than 2013, but the agency’s budget is still below its 2010 level. The agency has been plagued by budget related problems with staffing and security in addition to the more philosophical difficulties brought on by its deadlocked leadership. (Public Integrity)
- Despite questionable returns on their massive investments, many super PACs and other outside spending groups are paying their top executives massive salaries. (Roll Call)
- The House of Representatives isn’t getting much of a reprieve in the omnibus spending bill it passed earlier today. The bill continues years of cuts to the House’s operations budget, making it harder to hire and retain qualified staff. (Roll Call)
- Major companies, including Siemens, are pushing back against a new Brazilian anti-corruption law. Siemens argued that the Clean Companies Act, which allows corruption probes by state and local governments into corporate activities, could encourage corruption among those charged with using the law’s new powers. (FCPA Blog)
- Amid broader concerns about political corruption in the region, one Catalonian political party is taking steps towards transparency in its own operations. The Socialist Party of Catalonia launched a transparency portal that includes data on its budget, payments received by elected officials, and contributions to the party by officials. (Tech President)
State and Local News
- Pittsburgh is wasting no time in promoting open data after electing a Mayor dedicated to using technology to boost transparency in the city. Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak recently introduced an open data bill that was quickly endorsed by the new Mayor, Bill Peduto. (Civ Source)
- The Knight Foundation is following up last month’s report on “The Emergence of Civic Tech,” by asking around to see what they missed and updating their directory and visualization tool accordingly. (Knight Foundation)
- Advancing Congress’s Trade Agenda, The Role of Trade Negotiating Authority. Senate Finance. Thurs. 1/16. 10:00 am. 215 Dirksen Senate Office Building. Full Committee.
- Corruption Scandal and Political Crisis in Turkey: What’s next? Rethink Institute. Thurs. 1/16. 2:00 – 3:30 pm. 750 First Street NE, Suite 1125, Washington, DC 20002.
- Big Data: Fool’s gold or the mother lode? Georgetown University. Thurs. 1/16. 5:30 pm. Georgetown University, Rafik B. Hariri Building, Fisher Colloquium, 37st and O st NW, Washington, DC.
Do you want to track transparency news? You can view our feed on our Netvibes page and follow the progress of relevant bills on our Scout page. You can also get 2Day in #OpenGov sent directly to your preferred news reader!