Senators Launch Whistleblower Caucus – March 3, 2015 Newsletter

– Brief Updates on Coalition Partners & Others (more)
– Senators Launch Whistleblower Caucus (more)

– Presidential Libraries Donation Reform Act Reintroduced (more)

News from Coalition Partners & Others
 

Steering Committee Member Testifies on FOIA Reform Legislation

Sunshine in Government Director Rick Blum testified before the Subcommittee on Government Operations of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on the FOIA Oversight and Implementation Act’s would benefits for requesters. Blum highlighted the open government community’s support for strengthening the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) and urged Congress to codify the presumption of openness and encourage proactive disclosure. His full testimony is available here. Founding OGIS director Miriam Nisbet and former FOIA professional Frederick Sadler also testified.  

Save the Date for the Ridenhour Prizes 

 

The annual celebration of truth-telling, hosted OTG partners and colleagues the Project On Government Oversight, Government Accountability Project, and the Fund for Constitutional Government, will take place on April 29th, 2015. Learn more at www.Ridenhour.org.

I. Senators Launch Whistleblower Caucus

Senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Wyden, the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, launched the Whistleblower Protection Caucus on February 25th. The bipartisan caucus aims to encourage federal employees to blow the whistle on government waste, fraud, and abuse. The caucus will provide oversight over the implementation of whistleblower protection laws. The National Whistleblowers Center released the report “Utilizing Whistleblowers in the Fight Against Waste, Fraud, and Abuse” in conjunction with the launch.

II. Presidential Libraries Donation Reform Act Reintroduced

OpenTheGovernment.org and the openness community have continuously expressed support for increased transparency about private donations made to Presidential Library fundraising organizations. As we’ve noted, “giving to fundraising organizations for these libraries creates ample opportunities for influence peddling outside in the government’s highest office.” The Presidential Library Donation Reform Act (PLDRA) was reintroduced in both the House (H.R. 1069) and Senate (S. 558) last month. The bill would require fundraising organizations to submit quarterly reports to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) detailing donations over $200. The reports would not be required once the President leaves office. NARA would be required to publish the reports in a searchable, sortable, and downloadable format.

RSVP now for our Sunshine Week event to be held on March 13th, 2015.
 

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