Blog: The Fine Print / posts by Gavin Baker
Dec 4, 2013 by Gavin Baker
A new Department of Defense (DOD) rule requires defense contractors to protect “unclassified controlled technical information” from unauthorized access and disclosure. The rule, issued Nov. 18, is much narrower than DOD’s proposed rule, which had raised concerns that it could result in the inappropriate withholding of public information.read in full
Oct 1, 2013 by Gavin Baker
The ludicrous and wasteful government shutdown can now claim another victim: government transparency. Several functions dedicated to providing information to the American public have been declared “non-essential” and are suspended during the lapse in appropriations. You might say that open government is now closed for business.
Here are some of the ways in which the shutdown is making it harder to know what government is doing (or at least, was doing before the shutdown):read in full
Sep 26, 2013 by Gavin Baker
A recent report by the Government Accountability Office found that the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) doesn't have a plan for conducting comprehensive reviews of federal agencies Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) policies or their compliance with the law.read in full
Sep 6, 2013 by Gavin Baker
On Sept. 5, the Center for Effective Government, along with 13 other organizations, filed comments calling for the disclosure of Medicare payments to medical providers. Releasing the amounts of Medicare funds paid to providers could help fight fraud and strengthen Medicare.read in full
Mar 28, 2013 by Gavin Baker
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced today that it will expand its online public database of customer complaints to include additional financial services that the bureau regulates. Previously, the database had included only complaints about credit cards. Under the new policy, the CFPB will disclose complaints it has received from consumers about mortgages, bank accounts and services, private student loans, and other consumer loans.read in full
Mar 7, 2013 by Gavin Baker
Sunshine Week, a nationwide initiative highlighting the importance of open government and accountability, will be held this year from March 10-16. Created by journalists in 2002, Sunshine Week is designed to educate people on their right to access public information in understandable, user-friendly formats to participate more effectively in democracy and to use such information to protect and improve their communities.read in full
Dec 10, 2012 by Gavin Baker
Today is Human Rights Day. This year's theme, "inclusion and the right to participate in public life," is close to our hearts here at OMB Watch.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms that "all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights," and goes on to define a life of dignity as one in which freedom of opinion and expression, the right to health, and the right to participate in government are guaranteed. All governments are obliged to respect and promote these rights, and national and international mechanisms exist to enforce them.read in full
Dec 6, 2012 by Gavin Baker
Whistleblowers helped the federal government recover at least $3.3 billion in fiscal year 2012, a record high, according to a Dec. 4 announcement by the Justice Department.
The funds were recovered by whistleblower lawsuits under the False Claims Act. That law allows individuals to report fraud against the federal government – and, if their claims are proven, to receive a share of the money that is recovered.read in full
Nov 30, 2012 by Gavin Baker
The Senate has approved several amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (S. 3254), which will bring greater transparency and accountability to federal contracting. The amendments, which OMB Watch endorsed, would strengthen whistleblower protections for federal contractors and grantees, modeled after the protections pioneered in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.read in full
Nov 13, 2012 by Gavin Baker
Victims of mistakes at hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies could soon have a way to report their experiences to the federal government. This new effort could make health care safer for everyone. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), a division of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is proposing to create a consumer reporting system for patient safety events.read in full