Administration Seeks Transparency Ideas

The administration yesterday rolled out the awaited next phase of public consultations for its Open Government Partnership (OGP) action plan. The announcement asked for comments on three specific issues where the administration could make worthwhile gains on transparency.

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Freedom of Information is a Human Right, UN Body Says

Access to government information is a human right, according to a commentary issued today by the United Nations' Human Rights Committee. The comment is the most comprehensive statement to date embracing freedom of information as integral to human rights under international law.

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House Oversight Committee Moves Troublesome DATA Act to Floor

This morning, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform unanimously approved the DATA Act (PDF). And that's a problem, because now it's headed to the House floor with a number of provisions we have serious concerns about.

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DATA Act Would be a Setback for Spending Transparency

It has been a whirlwind 8 days since Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) introduced a bill to reform federal spending transparency. On June 13, Issa introduced the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act), held a hearing the next day, and will mark up the bill tomorrow in his Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

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DATA Act Scheduled for Markup in House

Tomorrow morning the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will markup the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act). The DATA Act seeks to expand upon the Recovery Act by turning the temporary Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board into a permanent “Federal Accountability and Spending Transparency Board” (FAST Board), which will have authority over all federal spending transparency and will administer USAspending.gov. The bill also expands upon the Recovery Act’s recipient reporting model, bringing it to the entire federal government.

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Spending Bill Would Hide Consumer Safety Risks, Money in Politics

Consumer product safety risks would be concealed and influence peddling in government contracting would remain out of public view under the provisions of the fiscal year (FY) 2012 spending bill approved today by the House Financial Services and General Government appropriations subcommittee.

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CIO Vivek Kundra to Resign in August

The White House today announced that federal Chief Information Officer (CIO) Vivek Kundra will resign in August to accept a fellowship at Harvard University. We offer our most sincere congratulations to Vivek on the new position and wish him the very best of luck in the future.

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White House Makes Boneheaded Move in not Proactively Disclosing Transparency Meeting

Two days ago, I posted a message about my meeting with President Obama to acknowledge his commitment to transparency and to give him an award for that commitment. During that meeting, the president reaffirmed his belief in transparency and demonstrated a nuanced understanding of the issues involved. I left the meeting assured I had an advocate for transparency running the government, even as we talked about ways of strengthening transparency. Yesterday, I learned that the meeting was not listed on his public calendar. There is no good excuse for this.

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A Face-to-Face with the President about Transparency

Yesterday, I had a once-in-a-career opportunity – to discuss transparency in the Oval Office with the President of the United States.

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Our Six-Point Plan for Spending Transparency

As I wrote about yesterday in this post, last Friday the House Oversight Committee held a great hearing focusing on spending transparency. We submitted written testimony for the hearing, which you can read here. In it, we talk about the six changes Congress and the Obama administration should make to USAspending.gov, the government's spending website which is based off of one of our websites, FedSpending.org.

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