New Posts

Feb 8, 2016

Top 400 Taxpayers See Tax Rates Rise, But There’s More to the Story

As Americans were gathering party supplies to greet the New Year, the Internal Revenue Service released their annual report of cumulative tax data reported on the 400 tax r...

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Feb 4, 2016

Chlorine Bleach Plants Needlessly Endanger 63 Million Americans

Chlorine bleach plants across the U.S. put millions of Americans in danger of a chlorine gas release, a substance so toxic it has been used as a chemical weapon. Greenpeace’s new repo...

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Jan 25, 2016

U.S. Industrial Facilities Reported Fewer Toxic Releases in 2014

The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data for 2014 is now available. The good news: total toxic releases by reporting facilities decreased by nearly six percent from 2013 levels. Howe...

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Jan 22, 2016

Methane Causes Climate Change. Here's How the President Plans to Cut Emissions by 40-45 Percent.

  UPDATE (Jan. 22, 2016): Today, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released its proposed rule to reduce methane emissions...

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OMB Watch Applauds House Passage of DATA Act

WASHINGTON, April 25, 2012—OMB Watch today applauded the House passage of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, or DATA Act (H.R. 2146). The bill to strengthen the transparency of federal government spending was approved by a voice vote with strong bipartisan support.

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Financial Stability Oversight Council FOIA Rules Show Progress

Last week, the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) issued regulations to implement the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) at the agency. The council was created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to monitor risks to the nation's financial system.

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Updated Agency Plans Show Path toward Culture of Openness

On April 9, numerous federal agencies released new versions of their Open Government Plans, detailing the activities they will undertake to bolster transparency and citizen participation. The latest versions are the second generation of plans; the original plans were published in 2010 in response to President Obama's transparency memo and the administration's Open Government Directive.

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Take Action to Shine a Light on Public Officials' Financial Dealings

Last week, President Obama signed the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, or STOCK Act — a historic piece of open government legislation. OMB Watch staff were there to see it happen and were pleased to witness an important transparency policy becoming law. In moments like this, we realize that our hard work and dedication are paying off!

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Federal Government Increases Online Access to Conflict-of-Interest Data

On March 22, the U.S. Senate passed the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, or STOCK Act, which will put thousands of disclosures from congressional and executive branch officials online for the first time. President Obama will sign the legislation into law on April 4. Many state governments already provide some online access to similar disclosures, and others, such as Maryland, are considering following suit.

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A Look at Transparency in the 21st Century

This afternoon, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee's technology subcommittee will host a hearing on using technology to improve transparency under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The hearing will also be an opportunity to examine the Obama administration's performance on implementing FOIA.

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States Releasing Information Online that Can Ensure Public Official Accountability

On March 19, OMB Watch released a new report that evaluates state and federal websites designed to ensure the accountability of public officials. The report, Upholding the Public's Trust: Key Features for Effective State Accountability Websites, examines state efforts to release public officials' integrity information online. Such transparency is crucial to guard against self-dealing and patronage. While states and the federal government have made progress in this area, more work lies ahead.

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Mixed Results for the Obama Administration on Freedom of Information

Sunshine Week, the annual nationwide celebration of transparency in government, prompted numerous analyses of the Obama administration’s progress on improving its responsiveness in processing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. Through its own analysis, OMB Watch found the administration has continued to make progress overall, but agency-by-agency results have been mixed.

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New OMB Watch Report Shows States Making Progress on Releasing Accountability Information Online, but More Work Needed

WASHINGTON, March 19, 2012—OMB Watch today released a new report, Upholding the Public's Trust: Key Features for Effective State Accountability Websites, that evaluates state and federal accountability websites against several key criteria. Overall, several states have taken initial steps to release public officials' integrity information online, which is crucial for holding those officials accountable for their actions. However, the report finds that much more work lies ahead for state disclosure sites.

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Analysis Finds Progress, Some Stumbles in Obama Administration's FOIA Transparency Efforts

WASHINGTON, March 14, 2012—Today, OMB Watch released an analysis of the Obama administration's implementation of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) based on new agency reports. The administration has continued to make progress in this area: in fiscal year (FY) 2011, the Obama administration processed more FOIA requests than in either of the past two years.

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Resources & Research

Living in the Shadow of Danger: Poverty, Race, and Unequal Chemical Facility Hazards

People of color and people living in poverty, especially poor children of color, are significantly more likely...

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A Tale of Two Retirements: One for CEOs and One for the Rest of Us

The 100 largest CEO retirement funds are worth a combined $4.9 billion, equal to the entire retirement account savings of 41 percent of American fam...

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