Policy and News Updates for July 13, 2006

Policy Updates

[new] Negroponte to businesses: Increase information sharing
Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte asked the nation’s business community this week to build its information sharing infrastructure. Negroponte also said the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) will release a final plan for implementing its governmentwide Information Sharing Environment (ISE) this month, developed by Thomas McNamara, ISE program manager.
Sources: Negroponte Sees Larger Information Sharing Role For Firms [National Journal- subscription required] Negroponte: Intell info-sharing plan due this month[FCW.com]

[updated] New legislation encourages transparency
The Senate will hold a hearing on July 18th about the need for publicly available information on federal funding, and how the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (S.2590) might improve transparency. The legislation would require the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to improve access to federal contracts and grants. S.2590 would require the OMB to create a free, searchable website with information on federal financial assistance by Jan. 1, 2007. The bill is sponsored by Sens. Tom Coburn (R-OK), Barack Obama (D-IL), Tom Carper (D-DE), and John McCain (R-AZ).
Status: The hearing will be held at 2:30 pm on July 18 by the Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, and International Security. The bill has been referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

Sources: S. 2590 [Thomas]; Hearing notice;
Senate Will Hold Hearing on Federal Spending Transparency
[OMB Watcher]

News from Coalition Partners and Others

OpenTheGovernment.org releases new report: FIOA’s 40th Anniversary
In recognition of the 40th anniversary of FOIA, members and staff of OpenTheGovernment.org, the Sunshine in Government Initiative (SGI), Coalition of Journalists for Open Government (CJOG), National Security Archive, and other friends of openness in government undertook a collaborative look at a sample of the plans submitted by federal agencies in response to E.O. 13392, “Improving Agency Disclosure of Information,” issued on December 14, 2005. View the report and accompanying table.

Journalist coalition releases reports on use of FOIA
The Coalition of Journalists for Open Government produced two reports about the use of FOIA. The first shows that the time people wait to receive their FOIA requests is growing. The second reveals that businesses account for more than 60% of FOIA users.