Opening Access to Federal Reports

Each year, Congress requires thousands of reports from federal agencies, containing information on nearly every conceivable aspect of government. In fact, merely the list of those reports is over 200 pages long. But there is no organized method for the public to access those reports. A new bill would change that.

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Standard Coding Next Big Step in Contracting Oversight

A Scanner Darkly

Testifying before a Senate subcommittee last week about efforts to deploy a sophisticated fraud-prevention tool developed through the Recovery Act across all federal agencies, a government official told senators that the "biggest impediment" to successful utilization of the technology is "the lack of a...governmentwide award number system." Adoption of such a system, which would provide a universal code to government contract awards, could transform federal contracting oversight.

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As Orszag Steps Down, the Next OMB Director Must Be Committed to Transparency

If you're reading this blog, you probably pay at least a little attention to the news, so you likely already know that Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Peter Orszag will be stepping down in the next month or so. Since this is the first "high level" Obama official to leave, it is predictably setting off a flurry of media attention about Orszag's potential replacement.

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Administration Unveils New Fraud-Fighting Measures

This is presumably not what the 'do not pay' list will look like

Writing in his Federal Eye blog over at the Washington Post, Ed O'Keefe put up an interesting piece this morning about the Obama administration creating a government "do not pay" list to help prevent certain improper payments, and ordering the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to begin using a Recovery Act fraud-fighting tool.

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OMB Watch and 29,000 Others Comment on Inherently Governmental Proposal

Add your comment

Last week, OMB Watch submitted comments to the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP), the contracting regulatory authority within the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), regarding their proposed policy letter on reforming "inherently governmental" guidelines. Through our petition drive with CREDO Action, we spurred 29,402 people to write to OFPP to tell the agency what they thought about the proposed guidelines as well.

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DOD IG Finds Private Security Contractors Performing Inherently Governmental Tasks

A U.S. Soldier Meets with Private Security Contractors

Jeremy Scahill, an investigative journalist and contributor to The Nation, blogged this morning about a discovery he made in a recent Department of Defense (DOD) Inspector General's (IG) report. The DOD IG found, in what Scahill mockingly referred to as "a not shocking revelation," that "private contractors working for U.S. Special Forces have been allowed to 'perform inherently governmental functions.'"

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OMB Watch Partners with CREDO Action to Stop Reckless Outsourcing

CREDO Action & OMB Watch

Last month, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) proposed new "inherently governmental" guidelines, which determine how federal agencies outsource services to private contractors, and asked for feedback from the public on the proposed measures. OMB Watch has collaborated with CREDO Action to spur public participation in the comment process through a petition drive. In addition to advocating for a broader definition of inherently governmental, the comment we suggest for submission targets the outsourcing of certain functions to private security contractors.

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One Small Policy Step, but One Huge Leap for Government Openness: Statement of Gary D. Bass

WASHINGTON, April 7, 2010—The Obama administration took several actions today that will likely have a lasting and positive impact on government transparency. Each federal agency announced its Open Government Plan, complemented by Office of Management and Budget (OMB) policy changes to reduce certain impediments to transparency and to improve both regulatory and federal spending transparency.

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OMB Tackles 'Inherently Governmental'

Public Employee

On Wednesday, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) proposed new guidelines for outsourcing government work to contractors. The proposed policy letter attempts to clarify the thorny issue of what exactly constitutes an inherently governmental function, or a task that only a government employee should perform. This guidance is long in coming, as the president's memorandum on contracting directed OMB to release a plan late last summer.

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OFPP Nominee Confirmed

The Office of Management and Budget

This past Saturday evening, the Senate took a break from considering health care insurance reform to confirm Daniel Gordon to be the next administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP). President Obama nominated Gordon on Oct. 2. A former deputy general counsel of the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Gordon will face several challenges as soon as he begins his tenure.

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