Today in OpenGov: Disclosures, leaks and stonewalling…


In today's edition, an arrest is made in a leak case, Madison 4.0 makes collaborative governance easy, the Senate's healthcare process could be more transparent, Malaysia considers the benefits of open data, and more…


A screenshot of ProPublica's financial disclosures spreadsheet.
  • ProPublica compiled 349 Trump administration financial disclosures. The disclosures are a crucial source of information on potential conflicts. ProPublica has already found the "financial disclosures of Acting Under Secretary of Education James Manning show he previously consulted for USA Funds, an organization that was once the nation’s largest student loan guarantor." Now they're asking the public to look through the disclosures for more. please help!
  • Top-secret NSA analysis details Russian hacking efforts in days before 2016 election… "Russian military intelligence executed a cyberattack on at least one U.S. voting software supplier and sent spear-phishing emails to more than 100 local election officials just days before last November’s presidential election, according to a highly classified intelligence report obtained by The Intercept." (The Intercept)
  • …and alleged leaker charged with Espionage Act violations. "The Trump administration on Monday brought its first case under the Espionage Act, charging an intelligence agency contractor with leaking a classified document to a news outlet." The leaked material described in the charging documents appeared to match the analysis published by the Intercept on Monday. (POLITICO)
  • What does the president's budget request mean for IT modernization and spending data transparency? This analysis dives deep into the numbers before reaching a positive conclusion. "Simply put, this proposed budget strongly supports IT modernization, digital services, and open data projects. Now it is up to Congress to decide how much of the Administration’s proposal to accept, as it crafts its FY18 appropriations bills over the Summer." (Data Coalition)
  • Congressional Democrats want confirmation that Trump administration plans to ignore their information requests. "House Democrats pushed the Trump administration on Monday to acknowledge officially if it has instated a new policy not to respond to oversight requests from Congress unless they are signed by senior Republicans." Up to 275 such requests have been issued since the inauguration in January. (The Hill)

states and cities
  • Madison 4.0 aims to help citizens, stakeholders, and elected officials govern better, together. "Madison now sports a new design, refreshed user experience, and massive technical improvements that benefit all of our users.  Elected officials and staff want more successful engagement and more eyes in their work with less friction. Citizens want a more intuitive, productive and inclusive engagement experience. Technologists want intuitive software, useful documentation, and a clear path to participation. In each case, Madison 4.0 delivers." (OpenGov Foundation) We are thankful for the OpenGov Foundation's work to build civic infrastructure to host public conversations about public policy. 
  • Pennsylvania launches state spending data portal. "The portal, unveiled June 5, will provide residents with an easy way to look into state government spending and understand where resources are being allocated. Three years' worth of expenditure data are available to look at and compare." (Government Technology)
  • A new data portal for water in Washington, DC. Kate Rabinowitz highlighted the new portal on Twitter, saying "DCWater now has an open data portal – water main breaks! fire hydrants! sewer overflows!" Dive into the data at

washington watch

Image: National Park Service
  • Paul Ryan focused on fundraising well ahead of 2018 midterms. "Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will announce Wednesday that his political operation sent more than $2 million to the House GOP’s campaign arm in May, bringing his total transfers in 2017 to more than $22 million, a GOP source said." (The Hill)
  • Senate healthcare bill is staying in the shadows. The Senate GOP is not being transparent when it comes to healthcare reform. (Washington Post)
  • Culture change more important than legal reform for procurement progress. David Eaves shared an informed perspective at Federal Computer Week, noting that many commonly cited problems with the federal procurement system are the result of  "lore" not law. "Focusing on culture and delivering low-cost results within the status quo is maybe a less dramatic path to success, but it is a far better, and safer way to reform the system."
  • In yesterday's newsletter we highlighted and the Federal Open Source Policy. Alex Howard dug a little deeper into the topic on the Sunlight Foundation blog.  "We also hope that the public helps improve open government code, demonstrating that improving the commons can be distributed, democratic and drive positive change for the public outside of partisan politics." 

around the world

  • World Bank report on open data in Malaysia shows path forward. "One of the most important recommendations from the ODRA report is having a clearly defined national policy/legal framework and government data management policies/procedures for opening and sharing data. At the moment, there is no single legal framework in Malaysia that determines whether data can be opened or not, leading to uncertainty and caution." (OpenGov Asia)
  • Former Brazilian Congressman recorded taking suitcase full of cash, latest threat to President. "A former Brazilian congressman and adviser to President Michel Temer was arrested on Saturday in a new threat to the embattled president, who’s under investigation amid threats of impeachment from a corruption scandal." (Bloomberg)
  • Exiled Chinese billionaire shakes things up by exposing corruption. "Exiled Chinese tycoon, Guo Wengui, who is now residing in New York, has rocked Chinese politics for months by claiming to expose the corrupt lifestyle of high-ranking Communist Party officials. Guo made the allegations ahead of the looming transition in the standing committee of the party's politburo." (Global Voices)

Save the dates

Some of the speakers slated to appear at #PDF17
  • 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 12th through 14th: Amazon Web Services Public Sector Summit in Washington, DC. "We are bringing government, education, and nonprofit technology leaders from around the world to Washington, D.C this June 12-14, 2017 for the eighth annual AWS Public Sector Summit. Spend three, action-packed days with the innovators who are changing the world with cloud computing. You’ll go home with new strategies and techniques to accomplish new projects, maximize budgets, and achieve your mission that you didn’t think possible." Learn more and register here.
  • June 14th, 11am EST: Using EITI to Disclose Social and Environmental Information Related to Extractive Activities, Webinar. The OGP Openness in Natural Resources Working Group is hosting this webinar aimed "at stakeholders, including representatives from government, civil society, and the private sector, who work on, or are interested in, transparency around socio-environmental information related to the oil, gas and mining sector. It will include a discussion on current trends, opportunities, and challenges regarding socio-environmental transparency and whether/how EITI can be a tool to disclose such information." RSVP 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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