Transparency Hearing Highlights Spending Data Issues

Even though Sunshine Week is officially this week, the House of Representatives got the ball rolling last Friday. The House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and Procurement Reform (say that ten times fast) held a hearing called "Transparency Through Technology: Evaluating Federal Open-Government Initiatives," although the hearing focused more on spending transparency than anything else. While one would expect that an oversight hearing in the House “evaluating” the Obama administration’s transparency efforts would be contentious, the most surprising aspect of the hearing was that it wasn’t.

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Get Ready for a Lot More Information on Government Performance

The Government Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Performance Improvement Act, now awaiting President Obama's signature, will significantly expand the amount of information available to the public about government performance.

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White House’s Long-Awaited Scientific Integrity Plan Released

White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John Holdren issued a memo to executive branch agencies today that could improve scientific integrity in the federal government. "The memo is a sign of relief for federal scientists who are unsure of their rights and whose work is too susceptible to manipulation," said Gary D. Bass, Executive Director of OMB Watch.

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Three Months Later, Missing "Oil Budget" Methodology Released

The government responders to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill today released its report on the "oil budget" tool used to calculate what happened to the spilled oil. Unlike the version of the report released on Aug. 4, this one comes peer-reviewed and with methodology.

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OMB Watch Asks President’s Advisors to Support Scientific Integrity

Today, OMB Watch asked the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) to help ensure the finalization of new government-wide policies on scientific integrity. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy was to have developed recommendations on scientific integrity for review by President Obama, but the recommendations have been delayed for more than a year.

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Lawsuit Targets Delayed Scientific Integrity Rules

A good government group this week sued the White House for records relating to the administration's long-delayed scientific integrity rules.

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MSHA Targets Black Lung with New Rule

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is proposing to cut in half the exposure limit for coal dust, the cause of black lung disease. MSHA estimates the new standard will prevent thousands of illnesses and hundreds of deaths over the lifetimes of miners.

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Interior Does About-face on Scientific Integrity

This week, the Interior Department released a new policy to protect scientific integrity in the department. OMB Watch joined other public interest groups in submitting comments on the department's draft policy in September. The new policy attempts to address concerns, raised in those comments and others, that the draft policy did not go far enough to prevent abuses of the department's scientific activities and decision making.

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Proposed Interior Policy Inadequate to Protect Scientific Integrity

Today, OMB Watch joined comments filed by the Union of Concerned Scientists and other public interest and environmental groups on the Interior Department's proposed scientific integrity policy. Unfortunately, the policy fails to address the full range of threats to scientific integrity at DOI, such as those evidenced by abuses at the former Minerals Management Service.

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Why Doesn't Federal Spending Add Up?

A new report by the Sunlight Foundation found widespread errors in USASpending.gov data.

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