Today in OpenGov: US likely to fail international transparency test


In today's edition, we celebrate Portland, Oregon's commitment to open data, Jason Chaffetz opts for early retirement, BuzzFeed sues for details about the president's Twitter habit, and more…

states and cities

Portland, Oregon
  • Chicago's secret "gun violence" watch list includes everyone fingerprinted by the city for any crime since 2013. "Yet the list is far broader and more extensive than Johnson and other police officials have suggested. It includes more than 398,000 entries — encompassing everyone who has been arrested and fingerprinted in Chicago since 2013." The city only released the list after a lengthy legal fight. (Chicago Sun-Times)
  • Three keys for election officials weighing their technology options. "At the first-ever Global Election Technology Summit on May 17 in San Francisco, hosted by the Startup Policy Lab, a diverse group of people involved in elections and the technology used to run them gathered to talk about how they can improve the process for everyone involved." (Government Technology)
  • Portland, Oregon endorses open data ordinance. Earlier this month, with help from Sunlight, GovEx, and the What Works Cities initiative, the Portland, Oregon City Council "enthusiastically adopted an Open Data Ordinance to establish an Open Data Policy and Open Data Program in the City of Portland, culminating an effort that began with the passage of Resolution No. 36735 in 2009 declaring Portland’s commitment to Open Data." (Portland)

washington watch

The Extractives Industry Transparency Initiative
  • Chaffetz to step down at end of June, Gowdy front-runner to replace him as Oversight Chair. Yesterday, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform announced that he will give up his seat in Congress on June 30th. (Chaffetz.House.Gov) Rep. Trey Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor previously best known for leading the House's Select Committee on Benghazi, has emerged as the early front runner to replace Chaffetz as Oversight Chair. "If he does clinch the chairmanship, Gowdy would oversee the sensitive investigation into whether President Donald Trump pressured the FBI to drop a federal investigation of his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn." (POLITICO)
  • United States expected to fail EITI transparency test. "The United States will likely fail to satisfy the requirements of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), an international standard for openness and accountability in natural resources extraction, according an inspection conducted by the Interior Department Office of Inspector General." (Project on Government Oversight)
  • Bipartisan bill introduced to boost transparency and information sharing around software vulnerabilities. "A bipartisan group of senators introduced a bill that directs federal leaders to come up with a more transparent process for determining when those vulnerabilities should be disclosed. The process would consider how damaging the vulnerabilities would be if exploited by criminals and foreign intelligence, and the potential consequences for vendors and consumers who could be targeted." (Nextgov)


  • Trump campaign officials where in contact with Russians at least 18 times over last 7 months of 2016. "Michael Flynn and other advisers to Donald Trump’s campaign were in contact with Russian officials and others with Kremlin ties in at least 18 calls and emails during the last seven months of the 2016 presidential race, current and former U.S. officials familiar with the exchanges told Reuters." (Reuters)
  • BuzzFeed suing for federal government records on Trump's Twitter habit. "The White House is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act, so the suit demands information from about half a dozen government agencies, including the Justice Department, the FBI, the National Security Agency and the Office of Director of National Intelligence. The suit could turn up some communications with the White House, however, if those appear in agency files." (POLITICO)
  • Trump's financial disclosures will be revealing, but won't provide a full picture of his finances. "But don’t expect the kitchen sink. The report won’t show how much Trump paid in taxes last year or his total business debt—the kinds of details that could show whether his businesses create conflicts of interest with his government gig." (POLITICO)

save the dates

  • #TCampAZ is coming up on May 22 in Phoenix. Learn more on Facebook and get your tickets hereThis one-day unconference will bring together the government representatives, developers and journalists to solve problems relating to civic data access. TCamp participants design the agenda, present their ideas and dive into the challenges, success stories and new possibilities during morning and afternoon breakout sessions. It is being hosted by the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting with key partners including Sunlight, Galvanize, and the Institute for Digital Progress.
  • June 8th and 9th: Personal Democracy Forum 2017 in New York City. "The annual flagship conference brings together close to 1,000 top technologists, campaigners, hackers, opinion-makers, government officials, journalists, and academics for two days of game-changing talks, workshops, and networking opportunities to celebrate the power and potential of tech to make real change happen." Check out the panels and Learn more about #PDF17 and get your tickets here.
  • June 12th through 14th: Canadian Open Data Summit in Edmonton, Canada. "The Canadian Open Data Summit (CODS) is an annual event where the most pressing challenges facing the open data and open government communities are addressed on a national scale." Learn more here
  • June 27th: Legislative Data and Transparency Conference in Washington, DC. "The Legislative Data and Transparency Conference 2017 (#LDTC17), hosted by the Committee on House Administration, will take place on Tuesday, June 27, 2017in the Capitol Visitor Center Congressional Auditorium. The #LDTC17 brings individuals from Legislative Branch agencies together with data users and transparency advocates to foster a conversation about the use of legislative data – addressing how agencies use technology well and how they can use it better in the future." Learn more here.
  • June 29th: DATA Act Summit 2017 in Washington, DC. "The fourth annual DATA Act Summit, hosted by the Data Coalition and Booz Allen Hamilton, will bring together supporters of the open data transformation from across government and the private sector." Learn more and get your tickets here.
  • September 11th and 12th: TicTec@Taipei in Taipei. "TICTeC@Taipei is the first ever conference about the influence of civic tech to be held in Asia. We’ve invited members of academia, business, politics, NGOs, education to participate, and discuss their research. We hope through this event, we can build a global network of civic tech enthusiasts." The event is being held during #CivicTechFest 2017. Learn more, submit a session proposal, and register to attend here.


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