OMB Watch Suggests Improvements for Information Policy

wrapping paperThere’s no time like the holidays – when packages are wrapped up tight with paper only to be torn apart – to talk about paperwork. That’s why OMB Watch has submitted to the White House comments on improving implementation of the Paperwork Reduction Act.

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Reporting the Non-Reporters

A Nov. 30 OMB memo to agencies, "Improving Compliance in Recovery Act Recipient Reporting," instructed the federal agencies to "compile a verified and detailed list of recipients who were required to report in the October period but failed to do so." The lists was to be submitted to OMB by Dec. 4.

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Open Government Directive Highlights Federal Spending Transparency

Sean noted earlier today that the Obama Administration released the Open Government Directive this morning. It will have far-reaching implications for government transparency generally, but the directive focuses on federal spending transparency, specifically mentioning Recovery Act transparency as a critical venue for federal government openess.

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White House Throws Open the Doors of Government

As you probably know, the Obama administration

released the Open Government Directive this morning.  OMB Watch applauds this latest effort

to create a more open and accountable government.

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Open Government Directive to be Released During Live Webcast - 11am, 12/8

The open government directive is scheduled to be released at 11am on Dec. 8.   The announcement will be made in a live webcast hosted by US CIO Vivek Kundra and US CTO Aneesh Chopra.  There will be a live forum following the announcement so that citizens may give feedback and ask questions.  Please watch the live announcement here or on the White House website and check back with the OMB Watch blog for more analysis.  Dowload the directive here [PDF].

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Congressional Action Succesful in Blocking Judicial Release of Torture Photos

On Nov. 30, Congress and the President succeeded in tying the hands of the judicial system from releasing photographic evidence of American soldiers torturing detainees in U.S. custody in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The Supreme Court today reversed a lower court ruling that the pictures must be released.

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House Sheds Light on Member Expenses

In an unprecedented move to increase congressional transparency, as of 1 pm this afternoon, the House of Representatives Statement of Disbursements is available online

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MSNBC’s Dubious Insinuation of Job Data Manipulation

A paragraph in an article written by Mike Stuckey on MSNBC.com insinuates that the White House manipulated the Recovery.gov job count total to match its previous claims of job growth numbers. I can't tell if Stuckey simply has his facts wrong, is intending to mislead to create controversy, or has been misled by an unscrupulous source.

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Recovery.gov Search Finds More Stuff

It appears that the Recovery.gov search engine improved over the weekend (my guess is that the indexing service took a while to organize all the data). When I search recipient reports for "alpha," "Alpha Building Foundation Corp" still isn't found, but some 110 results are displayed for other awards containing the word "alpha." And when I search for "Savannah River," "Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC" is returned, unlike what I was seeing on Friday.

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Administration Releases More Visitor Logs

On Friday, the Obama administration released another set of visitor logs.  The list of 110 White House guests was compiled from public requests and includes names such as Brad Pitt, Jesse Jackson, and several business leaders.  This release is a positive step toward building a system of government transparency that is responsive to the public interest but we would still like to see the administration go further with this effort.

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