Here is Friday’s look at transparency-related news items, congressional committee hearings, transparency-related bills introduced in Congress, and transparency-related events.
- After passing another continuing resolution to keep the government running for another three weeks, Congress approved taking a ten-day vacation. Washington Times
- Witnesses told a House panel that federal agency practices are hindering the Obama Administration’s ability to achieve its goal of full compliance with the Freedom of Information Act. Government Executive
- David Powner, the Government Accountability Office’s Director of IT Management, told a House panel that almost 40 percent of the government’s 800 IT spending programs need additional oversight. Federal Computer Week
- Canada just launched an open data portal, data.gc.ca. An open government activist finds that while this is a good start, the available data is limited, and the license on the site prohibits anyone from using the data in a way that could tarnish Canada’s reputation. Eaves.ca
- In honor of Sunshine Week, the White House has launched WhiteHouse.gov/GoodGovernment, a one-stop-shop for all the White House’s open government tools. TechPresident
- House.gov is also undergoing a redesign in an attempt to make the website more user-friendly. Roll Call $
- The Supreme Court’s decision in Citizen’s United has opened the door to numerous other lawsuits targeted at other campaign finance regulations. Politico
- The Chief Human Capital Officers Council has formed a working group to examine ways to improve performance accountability without changing laws, regulations, or contracts. Union leaders are insisting that labor leaders be included in the working group. Federal Times
- The tax code has led to an evolution in the “permanent campaign” cycle where groups – without disclosing their donors – can keep political advertisements on the air regardless of whether a campaign is officially in progress or not. Politico
- The Government Printing Office is considering changing its name to reflect its modern role in the digital age. Roll Call $
- Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is investigating allegations that D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray paid a failed mayoral primary candidate to attack then-Mayor Adrian Fenty. The Hill/Roll Call $
Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 3/18:
Relevant bills introduced:
- S. 627. A bill to establish the Commission on Freedom of Information Act Processing Delays; to the Committee on the Judiciary
- S. 650. A bill to require greater transparency concerning the criteria used to grant waivers to the job-killing health care law and to ensure that applications for such waivers are treated in a fair and consistent manner, irrespective of the applicant’s political contributions or association with a labor union, a health plan provided for under a collective bargaining agreement, or another organized labor group; to the Committee on Finance.
- H.R. 1144. A bill to increase the transparency of the Federal Government, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
- H.R. 1184. A bill to require greater transparency concerning the criteria used to grant waivers to the job-killing health care law and to ensure that applications for such waivers are treated in a fair and consistent manner, irrespective of the applicant’s political contributions or association with a labor union, a health plan provided for under a collective bargaining agreement, or another organized labor group; to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
Transparency events scheduled for 3/18:
- Sunshine Week 2011 – The Road Forward on Open Government. Friday 3/18. 12:00-1:30pm. 1333 H St., NW, 10th Floor. Washington, DC 20005.