Somebody Needs a Nap

Yesterday, a hearing on federal financial transparency and government accountability was curtailed, as Sen. John "Cranky" McCain (R-Kindergarten) stomped his feet and pitched a fit when his team lost a vote on a motion to proceed to debate on the health care reconciliation bill.

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President Obama's Forecast - Sunshine with More to Come

President Obama just made a statement on Sunshine Week applauding the work done so far to make the government more transparent and recommitting his administration to be the most open and transparent.  The statement highlights some of the accomplishments the administration has already racked up in this area including Data.gov, Recovery.gov and Executive Order on Classification.  The President also states that while they "are proud of these accomplishment" that the "work is not done." This reality of progress being made but more still being needed is reflected in two reports released for Sunshine Week. 

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Recovery Act Data Shows Recipients Are Learning

Earlier today, the Recovery Board released the list of Recovery Act recipients who did not file during the second reporting period.   According to the Board, recipients of 1,036 Recovery Act awards failed to file during this quarter, which was from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, 2009. That number represents a whopping 76 percent decline from the first reporting cycle, which saw 4,359 missing award reports, and is less than one percent of all the award reports. Equally good news is that of the 1,036 missing reports, only 389 were from "repeat offenders," or recipients who failed to file in both quarters.

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What If?

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the signing of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA or Recovery Act). We're going to put up some more substantive posts later, but I thought these graphs in the New York Times really get to the heart of the "did it work" question.

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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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