Issa, Cummings, Devaney Agree: We Need E-Gov Funding

In a hearing on federal spending transparency which just concluded, House Oversight Committee ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) entered our letter signed by more than 30 transparency groups in support of restoring the Electronic Government Fund into the hearing record. The E-Gov Fund supports important government websites such as USAspending.gov, the IT Dashboard, Data.gov, and Performance.gov.

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Obama Administration Reaches Plea Deal with NSA Whistleblower

National Security Agency sealThe Obama administration agreed to drop its controversial Espionage Act case against former National Security Agency (NSA) employee Thomas Drake, according to reports yesterday. Instead, Drake will plead guilty to exceeding authorized use of a computer, a misdemeanor. The deal calls for no jail time or fine, with up to one year of probation.

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Financial Stability Oversight Council Proposes FOIA Regulations

The Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) has proposed regulations to implement the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The council was created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to monitor risks to the financial system.

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Congress Extends Patriot Act, No New Oversight

Congress voted yesterday to extend three expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act until June 2015 without adopting any new oversight or transparency provisions. President Obama has signed the bill.

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Spying Without Oversight is a Compromise?

Congressional leaders have agreed to extend key provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act until June 2015, according to reports today. The extension will not include reforms.

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New Executive Order Could Improve Government Websites

On April 27, President Obama signed Executive Order 13571, entitled "Streamlining Service Delivery and Improving Customer Service." Building on a Clinton-era order, E.O. 13571 requires agencies to develop plans to make their customer service more efficient and effective. Agencies have to publish their plans online within 180 days.

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House Panel Advances Patriot Act Extension, Without Reforms

The House Judiciary Committee yesterday voted to reauthorize key provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act. The committee also rejected several proposals to reform the controversial provisions of the intelligence law.

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Finally, a Deadline for Scientific Integrity Policies

Today, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) announced that it was asking agencies to submit their draft scientific integrity policies within 90 days.

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White House Visitor Disclosure is Commendable, But More Left to be Done

A House hearing on White House transparency and visitor logs could be an opportunity to focus on an important transparency issue if Congress decides not to play political games instead. Americans deserve to know who influences the government. The records of who meets with top government leaders should be open to the public.

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Agencies Report Progress on Scientific Integrity – in Private

Thirty agencies have reported on their progress to strengthen scientific integrity, according to a blog post yesterday by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). This week was the deadline to submit those reports, per OSTP director John Holdren's December 2010 memo.

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