21st Century Government Latest News
- 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.
- Posted byon March 15, 2012 at 2:35 PM EDT
Last week, right before we launched Ethics.gov -- which brings data from across the federal government to one place where it can all be searched -- Chris Vein, the Deputy United States Chief Technology Officer, sat down to talk about how the site works and walk through its features. Check it out:
- Posted byon March 8, 2012 at 12:12 PM EDT
At the United Nations General Assembly in September 2010, President Obama said: “The common thread of progress is the principle that government is accountable to its citizens.” A government, however, is only truly accountable to its citizens when it is transparent and subject to citizens’ direct participation.
These principles have guided the Administration from the beginning. On his first full day in office, President Obama signed the Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government—a document that has helped to guide the federal government into a new era of openness and public engagement. Since then, the President has redoubled his Administration’s efforts to live up to that early promise—creating Data.gov to increase public access to government information, aggressively tracking the federal government’s use of federal dollars with websites like Recovery.gov and USASpending.gov, introducing the “We the People” initiative to give all Americans an opportunity to petition the government on a range of issues affecting our nation, calling for a large-scale transformation in how agencies maintain their records, and launching an effort to cut waste and streamline government operations.
These efforts and others demonstrate that President Obama has made open government a high priority. In furtherance of that commitment and in celebration of Sunshine Week, the President is taking yet another step that ensures an unprecedented level of openness in government.