21st Century Government Latest News
- Posted byon May 23, 2012 at 11:18 AM EDT
Ed note: this was originally posted on The Commerce Blog, the official blog of the US Department of Commerce
Yesterday's U.S. Census Bureau report shows that not only was the 2010 Census delivered on time and significantly under budget – but even more important, it was extremely accurate. I am proud of the extraordinary accomplishment by the Census Bureau and the Commerce Department in its success with the massive 2010 Decennial Census effort that gathered data vital to understanding our nation’s population and to allocating equal representation in our democratic system. The accuracy of the 2010 Decennial Census is particularly impressive considering outside predictions of failure. The Census was able to reverse a decades-long decline in survey response rates with its 2010 count.
The data released yesterday are from a post-enumeration survey of the 2010 Census called the Census Coverage Measurement (CCM) program, which measures the accuracy of the coverage of the nation’s household population (excluding the 8.0 million people in “group quarters,” such as nursing homes or college dorms). It surveys a sample of the 300.7 million people living in housing units and then matches the responses to the census, providing an estimate of exactly who was or wasn’t counted in the census. The results found that the 2010 Census had a very small net overcount–just 0.01 percent–which is statistically virtually the same as zero, and a significant improvement over the 0.49 percent overcount in 2000 and 1.61 percent undercount in 1990. You can learn more about how the Census Bureau conducts the CCM survey after the census to help measure its quality.
- Posted byon May 15, 2012 at 3:00 PM EDT
Today, the President and Vice President released their 2011 financial disclosure reports.
The Ethics in Government Act of 1978 requires high-level federal officials to publicly disclose their personal financial interests. The public filing system serves to prevent financial conflicts of interest by providing for a systematic review of the finances of government officials. Those finances are set forth in annual disclosures which are reviewed and certified by ethics officials. Neither the President nor the Vice President have any conflicts of interest, and their reports have been reviewed and certified by the independent Office of Government Ethics. We are continuing this Administration's practice of posting these forms online here in the interests of transparency:
- View the President's 2011 financial disclosure report (pdf)
- View the Vice President's 2011 financial disclosure report (pdf)
White House staff are also completing their forms and we anticipate they will be available here next month, also in electronic form.
- Posted byon April 27, 2012 at 3:00 PM EDT
In September 2009, the President announced that—for the first time in history—White House visitor records would be made available to the public on an ongoing basis. Today, the White House releases visitor records that were generated in January 2012. Today’s release brings the total number of records made public by this White House to more than 2.2 million—all of which can be viewed in our Disclosures section.
Ed. note: For more information, check out Ethics.gov.
- Posted byon April 4, 2012 at 5:16 PM EDT
Recently, President Obama has spent a lot of time talking about fairness.
As he says, "The powerful shouldn’t get to create one set of rules for themselves and another set of rules for everybody else."
That's why he stood before Congress during the State of the Union and asked lawmakers to pass the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act.
Today, in a ceremony at the White House, he signed their bill into law:
The STOCK Act makes it clear that if members of Congress use nonpublic information to gain an unfair advantage in the market, then they are breaking the law. It creates new disclosure requirements and new measures of accountability and transparency for thousands of federal employees. That is a good and necessary thing. We were sent here to serve the American people and look out for their interests -- not to look out for our own interests.
But the President also said that no one's work is done:
There’s obviously more that we can do to close the deficit of trust and limit the corrosive influence of money in politics. We should limit any elected official from owning stocks in industries that they have the power to impact. We should make sure people who bundle campaign contributions for Congress can’t lobby Congress, and vice versa. These are ideas that should garner bipartisan support. They certainly have wide support outside of Washington. And it’s my hope that we can build off today’s bipartisan effort to get them done.
Read the full remarks here.
- Posted byon March 30, 2012 at 4:00 PM EDT
In September 2009, the President announced that—for the first time in history—White House visitor records would be made available to the public on an ongoing basis. Today, the White House releases visitor records that were generated in December 2011. Today’s release brings the total number of records made public by this White House to more than 2.2 million—all of which can be viewed in our Disclosures section.
Ed. note: For more information, check out Ethics.gov.
- Posted byon March 29, 2012 at 12:07 PM EDT
On behalf of the entire team of the Migrant Farmworker Justice Project of Florida Legal Services, I am deeply honored to be selected to receive the White House Champions of Change Award.
Over thirty-five years ago as a law student at Harvard Law School, I, like so many others, was inspired by the example of Cesar Chavez to pursue a career as a farm worker legal services lawyer. Over the years, I have been privileged to work with many fine attorneys and support staff who heeded the same call. In isolated rural communities across this nation, these often unsung “champions of change” have fought for the rights of the most vulnerable workers in our society.
Today as in the past, the majority of farm workers in the United States live in poverty, endure poor working conditions and receive little or no government assistance. At least 50% and probably closer to 2/3 of the farm workers are not legally present in the United States and do not have work authorization. These conditions lead to an unstable labor market which requires constant replenishment with new workers from abroad. Real change requires diverting the costs of instability from the farm workers back to the employers, taxpayers, and consumers who benefit from their work.