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Riding Disgust Over GSA Scandal, Bill That Would Bolster Tracking of Federal Spending Heads Towards House Floor

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, April 19 2012

Proposed legislation would alter how federal agencies report spending. Photo: Shutterstock

House Republicans are wasting no time in riding the momentum provided by the recent General Services Administration spending scandal to push for legislation designed to bring more transparency to the way government agencies spend money. The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform made H.R. 2146, the Digital Accountability & Transparency Act (DATA) available for public comment on its Madison platform online Wednesday in anticipation of a floor vote next week. Committee Chairman Darrell Issa's spokesman Ali Ahmad says that the chairman, who is the chief sponsor of the legislation, would take into account any comments left on Madison. A new coalition of private companies, chaired by Issa's former Oversight Committee counsel, Hudson Hollister, also launched this week to promote legislation related to technology and transparency. Read More

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NYC Open Data Advocates Focus on Quality And Value Over Quantity

The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications plans to publish more than double the amount of datasets this year than it published to the portal last year, new Commissioner Anne Roest wrote last week in an annual report mandated by the city's open data law, with 135 datasets scheduled to be released this year, and almost 100 more to come in 2015. But as preparations are underway for City Council open data oversight hearings in the fall, what matters more to advocates than the absolute number of the datasets is their quality. GO

Civic Tech and Engagement: Announcing a New Series on What Makes it "Thick"

Announcing a new series of feature articles that we will be publishing over the next several months, thanks to the support of the Rita Allen Foundation. Our focus is on digitally-enabled civic engagement, and in particular, how and under what conditions "thick" digital civic engagement occurs. What we're after is answers to this question: When does a tech tool or platform enable actual people to make ongoing and significant contributions to each other, to a place or cause, at a scale that produces demonstrable change? GO

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