Here is todays roundup of open government-related news and congressional committee hearings as well as transparency-related bills introduced in Congress yesterday.

Be sure to join us tomorrow (Thursday) at 1 p.m. on Capitol Hill at 2203 Rayburn for the launch of the Transparency Caucus. Co-chairs Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) and Darrell Issa (R-CA) will speak as well as John Wonderlich of the Sunlight Foundation. Stay for a panel discussion featuring Daniel Schuman of the Sunlight Foundation, Patrice McDermott of OpenTheGovernment.org, Jerry Brito of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, and Scott Amey of the Project On Government Oversight.

News roundup:

  • The government this fall is planning to launch FedSpace, a social networking program that creates a directory of federal employees and allows them to blog, create wikis, and share files. (Federal Times)
  • The House Administration Committee will look into whether House members can use Skype to communicate with constituents. House members are currently prohibited from using peer-to-peer networking technology for security reasons. (National Journal) ($)
  • As part of President Obama’s Open Government Directive, the General Services Administration is planning a comprehensive redesign of the USA.gov website, which links to over 10,000 pages on the federal, state, and local level. The site’s search engine has already been upgraded and other improvements are being considered. (The Washington Post)
  • The Senate Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee is laying the groundwork for legislation that would extend a law governing access to television programming to programming on the Internet. (National Journal) ($)
  • Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) have introduced the Secret Holds Elimination Act, which would force senators to publicly disclose holds within two days regardless of whether the measure being held is brought to the Senate floor for consideration. (IowaPolitics.com)

Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 4/28:

Senate:

  • Oversight hearing to examine contract management at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs: Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight, April 28, 2:30 p.m., SD-342.

House:

  • Hearing on Oversight of the Clerk, Sergeant at Arms, Chief Administrative Officer andInspector General of the House of Representatives, House Administration, April 28, 11 a.m., 1310 Longworth.
  • Hearing on Whistleblower and Victims Rights Provision of H.R. 2067, Education and Labor: Committee on Education and Labor Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, April 28, 10 a.m., 2175 Rayburn.

Bills introduced 4/28:

House:

  • A bill to provide that Members of Congress shall not receive a cost of living adjustment in pay during fiscal year 2011; to the Committee on House Administration, and in addition to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned; considered and passed. H.R. 5146
  • A bill to limit the amount which may be made available for the Members’ Representational Allowance for fiscal year 2011, to prohibit the use of such Allowance for expenses of official mail of any material other than a document transmitted under the official letterhead of the Member involved, and to require the quarterly statement of costs incurred for official mail by offices of the House of Representatives to provide a separate breakdown of the costs incurred for each method of mass communication covered by the statement; to the Committee on House Administration. H.R. 5151
  • A bill to require Federal contractors and subcontractors to comply with certain reporting requirements and transparency standards; to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. H.R. 5158

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