At last Monday's Advisory Committee on Transparency event, 16 lightning talks were given on transparency-related topics like FOIA, lobbying reform, and opening up congress. The three-minute presentations distilled some of the best thinking by advocates and activists on what the government could do right now to be more open. We're pleased to make those videos available to you.
Here's a list of the talks, broken up by issue area, with links to the videos.
Lisa Rosenberg, a Government Affairs Consultant for the Sunlight Foundation, argued that lobbyist registration rules should be tightened to catch those who avoid the current high reporting thresholds. (Video)
Robert Maguire, of the Center for Responsive Politics, argued that the IRS should publish online the tax reports that all nonprofits are required to file and include all organizations in summary data. (Video)
Celia Wexler, of the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, explained why Congress needs an independent, reliable source of information about scientific and technical issues, asking for the reinstatement of the Office of Technology Assessment. (Video)
Jim Harper, of the Cato Institute, argued that the Federal government's organization chart should be online in a machine-readable format. (Video)
Hudson Hollister, the Executive Director of the Data Transparency Coalition, urged facilitation of Federal spending tracking by requiring all federal awards to have a unique government-wide identifier. (Video)
Improving Member Offices
Lorelei Kelly, the Smart Congress Pilot Lead at the New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute, encouraged members of Congress to partner with local colleges to add "Technology Mashup Fellows" in their district offices. (Video)
Josh Tauberer, who runs GovTrack.us, argued that members of Congress should hire a "transparency director." (Video)
The Advisory Committee on Transparency is a private-sector organization and complies with all House and Senate rules. It is separate and distinct from the Congressional Transparency Caucus, a Congressional Member Organization. The Advisory Committee on Transparency is a project of the Sunlight Foundation.