Today in OpenGov: If you give a lobbyist a room on Capitol Hill…


In today's edition, federal Inspectors General team up to boost access to information, the fate of a strong campaign finance law rests on the pen of California's governor, President Trump's cabinet might not be over its charter plane controversy, and more. 

washington watch

A screenshot from the newly launched
  • Federal Inspectors General launch portal to share reports from across government. ", announced by the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, brings together past and brand-new reports from the 73 agency IGs (minus a half-dozen for the intelligence community, whose reports are often classified)." (Government Executive
  • Capitol meeting room booking questioned. "A recent panel discussion about alleged governmental corruption in Ukraine, organized by lobbyist and former Rep. Connie Mack, has raised questions about the appropriate uses of meeting rooms under the House speaker’s jurisdiction," according to this report by Kate Ackley. While it is fairly common practice for lobbyists and non-governmental organizations to book rooms on Capitol Hill, this specific event drew scrutiny for its content and the fact that no one from the office sponsoring the event was in attendance. (The Hill)
  • 18F and USDS are finding their place in the federal technology ecosystem. Steve Kelman reflects on the history of 18F and USDS, ultimately concluding that the two offices "have now indeed become part of the govtech ecosystem. And they are making a marked contribution to better government IT." (Federal Computer Week)

states and cities

A screenshot from the Urban Forest Map at
  • Mapping the benefits of San Francisco's trees. "The Urban Forest Map—a visualization of every tree in San Francisco—seeks to change that. It turns out that trees too have economic and environmental benefits via their capacity to conserve energy, filter stormwater, capture air pollutants, and remove carbon dioxide from the environment." (Data-Smart City Solutions)
  • Eyes on California as governor considers a tough campaign finance law. "Good-government advocates, including the co-author of the 1974 Political Reform Act, say the DISCLOSE Act would make California’s campaign-advertisement disclosure laws the toughest in the country…the bill is in the hands of the governor, who…has both signed and vetoed reform bills in recent years, rejecting proposals he felt would add complexity without helping solve the underlying problems." (Mercury News via Election Law Blog)
  • State Chief Information Officers share their priorities. "At this year’s NASCIO annual conference in Austin, five CIOs each revisited these topics in a series of fast and furious talks that boiled down the issues, pointed to strategies to overcome them and highlighted success stories." (Government Technology)
  • If you live in Memphis, Tennessee don't forget to comment on the city's draft open data policy!


Image Credit: Glyn Lowe
  • Documents reveal previously unreported contact between Russia and Trump company. "Associates of President Trump and his company have turned over documents to federal investigators that reveal two previously unreported contacts from Russia during the 2016 campaign, according to people familiar with the matter." (Washington Post)
  • White House looking into third email account controlled by Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. "Hundreds of emails have been sent since January from White House addresses to accounts on the Kushner family domain, these people said. Many of those emails went not to Kushner’s or Ivanka Trump’s personal addresses but to an account they both had access to and shared with their personal household staff for family scheduling." (POLITICO)
  • Interior IG investigating Zinke's charter flights. "The Interior Department’s watchdog agency has launched an investigation into Secretary Ryan Zinke’s travels after reports emerged last week that he had used a private plane owned by an oil executive, the inspector general’s office said on Monday." (Reuters)
  • While the President continues to delete tweets from his @POTUS and @realDonaldTrump accounts don't forget that ProPublica is tracking and archiving them all as part of its Politwoops project.


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