Here is Monday’s look at the week’s transparency-related news items, congressional committee hearings, transparency-related bills introduced in Congress, and transparency-related events

News Roundup:

  • The House Ethics Committee is investigating whether Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) failed to include information regarding his spouse’s sources of income on his financial disclosure forms. (Roll Call $)
  • Rep. Rivera (R-FL) is facing additional allegations of questionable ethics. The Associated Press reported that he did not report any details for over a third of the expenses for which he reimbursed himself during his time in the Florida State Legislature, simply calling them “campaign expenses.” (Roll Call $)
  • When the House Ethics Committee dismissed investigations into three lawmakers’ fundraising events last week it stated that previous rulings can set a general standard for unacceptable behavior but they do not set a standard as each individual case has to be considered on its own merits. (Roll Call $)
  • President Obamas call for Congress to do what the White House has already done and publicly disclose their meetings with lobbyists has caused many to criticize the White House’s own disclosure of meetings with lobbyists to be inadequate. (The Hill)
  • Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) reflected on his ethics trial and subsequent censure, discussing Congressional ethics and perception as a whole. (Washington Post)
  • President Barack Obama has named Office of Management and Budget Deputy Jeffrey Zients to lead his government reform initiative. (Politico)
  • Obama administration officials are considering relaxing some Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) cloud computing certification security requirements to expedite deployments, after the software industry raised concerns about impractical, one-size-fits-all controls. (Next Gov)
  • The State of the Union media enhancement could signal the beginning of a broader Obama administration plan to further utilize social media to communicate with the public during the second half of his term. (Bloomberg)
  • Senate leaders have reached and announced a gentleman’s agreement where minority Republicans will filibuster fewer bills and nominations while the Democratic majority will give them more chances to offeramendments. (Washington Times)
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has recently withdrawn several proposed regulations designed to protect workers’ health and safety, causing labor unions to voice concern. (The Hill)
  • The Social Security Administration has responded to President Barack Obamas call to streamline and improve federal regulation by setting up a new e-mail account for the public to submit ideas. (Federal Computer Week)
  • Protesters rallied outside the annual Koch conference of major conservative donors, claiming that those attending the conference were funneling huge undisclosed donations to promote a political agenda meant to increase their profits at the expense of the average American. (Politico) While the protests were generally peaceful, some demonstrators crossed the street to the entrance of the resort and twenty-five were arrested for trespassing. (Washington Post)
  • The 112th Senate has gotten off to a slow start and there do not appear to be much major legislation on the horizon. (Politico)
  • The City University of New York’s Entrepreneurial Journalism program has designed Localeaks, a website where you can send an anonymous tip or file to over 1,400 newspapers using a single online form. (Read Write Web)
  • Opinion: Brand Niemann, senior data scientist at and former senior enterprise architect and data scientist at the Environmental Protection Agency, suggests solving the problem of archiving federal social media records by encouraging individual employees to be information architects and preservationists for their own information. (Federal Computer Week)

Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 1/31-2/4:

  • None.
  • Homeland Security and Government Affairs: Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight. Hearings to examine improving Federal contract auditing. Tues. 2/1. 2:30pm. Senate Dirksen Building 342.
  • Judiciary. Hearings to examine the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. Wed. 2/2. 10:00am. Senate Dirksen Building 226.

Relevant bills introduced:

  • S. 211. A bill to provide for a biennial budget process and a biennial appropriations process and to enhance oversight and performance of the Federal Government; to the Committee on the Budget.
  • S. 219. A bill to require Senate candidates to file designations, statements, and reports in electronic form; to the Committee on Rules and Administration.

Transparency events scheduled for 1/31-2/4

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