Appropriators to Strengthen Access to Inspectors General Reports

The Senate Appropriations committee provided $2 million to the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) to enhance the website, which provides a central repository for Inspector General reports from dozens of federal Inspectors General.

The website currently is funded through a pass-the-hat mechanism, where each Inspector General kicks in some money to help pay for CIGIE. This appropriation, which is made to the GSA Inspector General but is directed towards CIGIE, is the first time there is a direct appropriation for CIGIE’s work. (Disclosure: we submitted testimony in support of a direct appropriation for, as did a coalition of organizations coordinated by the Project on Government Oversight.)

While an impressive first step, the website can be significantly improved, and this will provide the funds to do that. Continue reading “Appropriators to Strengthen Access to Inspectors General Reports”

What’s in the Senate Appropriations Committee’s 2019 Leg Branch Approps Bill

On Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously adopted the Legislative Branch Appropriations bill for 2019 (committee bill textcommittee report), advancing the measure to the full chamber. The legislation contains provisions concerning the Senate’s ability to do its job, mirroring in some instances provisions contained in the House bill, which was passed by that chamber last week. (As is common practice for Senate legislative branch appropriations, there was no public subcommittee markup and the full committee markup was recorded as audio only — listen to the last 8 minutes here).

Among the highlights of what was included in the bill text or committee report: Continue reading “What’s in the Senate Appropriations Committee’s 2019 Leg Branch Approps Bill”

2019 House FSGG Approps Bill and Transparency

On Wednesday, the House Appropriations Committee favorably reported the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act for FY 2019, which contains a few transparency-related measures and a few omissions. (Bill as reported; Committee Report as reported). I’ll address a few of the items:

  • Central website for Congressional Budget Justifications
  • No direct funding for Oversight.Gov
  • DATA Act/ Implementation
  • Undermining Civil Liberties Oversight
  • New Technology Investments
  • Pushing SEC and Open Corporate Data
  • Preventing Easy Tax Filing

Continue reading “2019 House FSGG Approps Bill and Transparency”

First Branch Forecast Newsletter

Starting at the end of April, I’ve been publishing a newsletter for Congressional staff about Congress: the First Branch Forecast. It focuses on whether Congress is strong enough to do its job.

The weekly newsletter provides original reporting, rounds-up news stories, and provides a preview of upcoming hearings and markups that concern how Congress functions as an institution. Some regular topics include congressional oversight and the legislative process; transparency and technology; political science and politics; and congressional ethics.

Go here to subscribe; archives are available here. If you have ideas for what I should include, please drop me a line.