Here is Wednesday’s look at the week’s transparency-related news items, congressional committee hearings, transparency-related bills introduced in Congress, and transparency-related events.
- The White House has launched a new project called “Advise the Advisor” where one of the President’s closest advisors will post a video explaining what the White House is doing on a particular issue then ask for public feedback. (Tech President)
- EADS North America is developing grassroots support by turning to Facebook and other forms of new media to help the company win a $35 billion Pentagon contract to build aerial tankers. (Roll Call $)
- House Democrats are urging the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Rep. Darrell Issa, to decrease the amount of information he is requesting from agencies regarding their Freedom of Information requests from the last five years. (Federal Times)
- U.S. District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin ruled that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, among other federal agencies, had not met either their FOIA or their discovery obligations by releasing information in the form of unsearchable PDF files. (Investigative Reporting Workshop, American University School of Communication)
- Sen. Grassley (R-IA) has discovered instances of fraud at the Department of Defense, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the Forest Service where Federal charge cards have been used for personal expenditures. He is advocating for federal requirements that agencies put safeguards on their charge cards and levy penalties for violations. (Center for Public Integrity)
- A new investigative report by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) demonstrated that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) missed an opportunity to uncover a Ponzi Scheme in 2005 by failing to conduct a thorough examination of investment adviser Westridge Capital Management. (Project on Government Oversight)
- The Government Accountability Office said yesterday that “supervisory and analytical weaknesses” were responsible for errors in a recent report about for-profit colleges, not personal bias or conflicts of interest. (Washington Post)
- Microsoft’s former chief security adviser to state and local governments, Dean Lacovelli, explains how IT benefits government executives as well as how executives can demonstrate that value. (Gov Tech)
Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 2/9:
- Oversight & Government Reform. TAR and Financial Services Subcommittee: on state and municipal debt. 9:30am. HVC-210 Capitol.
Relevant bills introduced:
- H.R. 527. A bill to amend chapter 6 of title 5, United States Code (commonly known as the Regulatory Flexibility Act), to ensure complete analysis of potential impacts on small entities of rules, and for other purposes; to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on Small Business, 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.
- H.R. 557. A bill to amend the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 to move the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection into the Department of the Treasury; to the Committee on Financial Services.
- H. Con. Res. 14. Concurrent resolution expressing the sense of the Congress that non-defense, non-security, non-veterans discretionary spending should be reduced by 20 percent; to the Committee on the Budget, and in addition to the Committees on Oversight and Government Reform, and House Administration, 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.
- H. Res. 72. A resolution directing certain standing committees to inventory and review existing, pending, and proposed regulations and orders from agencies of the Federal Government, particularly with respect to their effect on jobs and economic growth; to the Committee on Rules.
- S. 300. A bill to prevent abuse of Government charge cards; to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
Transparency events scheduled for 2/9: