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A 56-Page Report Card on Obama's Openness

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, March 18 2011

How open a presidency is Obama's really? It's a debate that has heated up of late, and the good government group OMB Watch is out today with a contribution, in the form of a sizable report assessing where things stand at the half-way point of Obama's first term. The report, written by OMB Watch's Sean Moulton and Gavin Baker, breaks down the wide-ranging topic into more digestible parts, focusing on national security and secrecy, the usability of government information, and creating an environment for transparency. In a release, OMB Watch's founder and executive director Gary Bass praises the administration's "strong commitment to openness." Some weekend reading for you.

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Beyond @Congressedits, Capitol Hill Looks for Entry to Wikipedia

As he recently told techPresident, the creator of Congressedits did not aim to make Members of Congress look bad, but said he hoped that they would recognize the importance of Wikipedia as a public space and engage more with its community. "If staffers and politicians identified as Wikipedians, that would be super. You could imagine politicians' home pages with a list of their recent edits, that they would be proud of the things that they are doing." On Capitol Hill, there is in fact interest in making that vision a reality, starting off with an initial conversation that could create a framework for more Wikipedians in Congress. GO

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In the Philippines, Citizens Go Undercover With Bantay to Monitor Public Offices

The Philippines, a country of almost 100 million, is considered among the most corrupt country in Southeast Asia, despite a boost in Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index in the past few years (from 134th in 2010 to 94th in 2013 out of 175.) Corruption involves all levels of government, but benefits also from a mindset of tolerance, says Happy Feraren, the co-founder of Bantay.ph, an anti-corruption educational initiative that teaches citizens how to monitor the quality of government services, sometimes by going undercover. GO

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