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 Lauds the Introduction of DATA Act in the Senate

WASHINGTON, Sept. 21, 2012—OMB Watch welcomed the introduction of a revised version of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, or DATA Act, in the Senate and commended Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Rob Portman (R-OH) for working together on this important legislation. The DATA Act will provide an unprecedented level of transparency and create critical new tools to track and analyze federal spending and hold officials accountable for their decisions.

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One Year Later, Delivering on the Commitments of the Open Government Partnership

Sept. 20 marked the one-year anniversary of the launch of the global Open Government Partnership (OGP) and the release of the U.S. National Action Plan detailing the Obama administration's commitments to strengthen transparency in the federal government. The partnership and the administration's implementation efforts have both made significant progress toward their goal of more open and responsive governments in the U.S. and worldwide.

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Raising the Bar for Transparency and Customer Service

Yesterday, the House passed the Government Customer Service Improvement Act, H.R. 538, by Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX). The bill would require the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to establish standards and performance measures for the customer service that federal agencies provide to the public. Federal agencies' customer service performance ratings would be reported publicly, and each agency would be required to collect and publish feedback from citizen customers. This would advance government openness and could improve government performance.

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Technology Reforms Pave the Way for Greater Transparency

The federal government recently unveiled a number of valuable reforms that will pave the way to a more transparent, efficient, and innovative government. The reforms implement and complement the Digital Government Strategy released by the Obama administration in May.

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The STOCK Act Faces New Hurdles

On Aug. 2, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit and an injunction against the Office of Government Ethics (OGE), challenging the constitutionality of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act (STOCK Act). The ACLU is suing on behalf of seven high-level federal government employees and four organizations representing them. The ACLU claims that posting officials’ financial information online violates their privacy in addition to potentially threatening their physical safety. On the basis of similar concerns, Congress passed a bill delaying implementation of the STOCK Act.

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New Federal Agency Hits the Ground Running with Proactive Standards for the Release of Information

A new federal agency is making a strong start out of the box by establishing a proactive policy of releasing information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). FOIA regulations published today by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) include an important clause committing the agency to proactively disclose the information it collects. The agency adopted the policy in response to a recommendation by OMB Watch.

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New Complaint Database Will Empower Credit Card Users, May Expand to Other Financial Products

On June 19, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a policy that establishes a public online database of credit card complaints from customers. The database allows consumers shopping for a credit card to view data about other customers' experiences in order to avoid abusive practices and poor customer service.

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CFPB Issues Credit Card Transparency Policy

Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released the final version of a policy that will disclose consumer complaints about credit card companies in an online, searchable database.

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Obama Plans to Further Harness Technology for Transparency

A new White House strategy could revolutionize transparency by reforming the fundamentals of how government uses technology. The plan lays out procedures for establishing openness as the default for public information and raises the bar for usability, efficiency, and innovation. The reforms promise to make government information easier to find and use through a series of concrete actions to be taken over the next year and would help Americans engage with their government.

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EPA Improves Public Access to Geographic Information Systems Tools

On April 26, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency publicly released a collection of web-based tools to enhance access to environmental information and encourage public participation in taxpayer-funded projects. This is part of a White House pilot program to encourage innovation in federal agencies and could empower citizens to improve their communities.

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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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