Moving Toward a 21st Century Right-to-Know Agenda

OMB Watch convened a group of hundreds of individuals and organizations from across the political spectrum to put together recommendations on government openness, information, and other transparency issues. The recommendations stress the need for the Obama administration and Congress to move the federal government's information disclosure and sharing policies and processes into the 21st century, which includes the efficient, effective use of modern Internet technologies. The recommendations fall into three categories: National Security and Secrecy; Usability of Information; and Creating a Government Environment for Transparency. The group also lifted up a number of the recommendations as issues the Obama administration should tackle during its first 100 days.

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Collateral Damage: How the War on Terror Hurts Charities, Foundations, and the People They Serve

This paper is the result of collaborative research conducted by OMB Watch and Grantmakers Without Borders. We believe charities in the United States and throughout the world play a key role in democratic systems by giving citizens a vehicle for participation, providing tools and information that help people get involved, and delivering assistance to those in need. Since Sept. 11, 2001, we have witnessed counterterrorism programs erode the freedom and ability of charities and their funders to carry out their missions and improve the lives of the world's people. We hope this paper will serve as a resource for charities, foundations, and policymakers as they seek to understand the impacts that counterterrorism measures have on charities and as they look to develop more equitable policies that protect the inherent rights of charities and the people the organizations serve.

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Bridging the Tax Gap: The Case for Increasing the IRS Budget

TaxGap A significant and pernicious problem facing the nation is the tax gap, the difference between what is owed in taxes and what is paid. Estimated to be over $300 billion annually, the tax gap represents an enormous revenue loss for the government. This lack of revenue often causes unnecessary increases in annual deficits and the national debt, increasing national interest payments and adding pressure to cut vital government services. Unfortunately, much of the gap must be made up eventually by honest taxpayers through higher taxes and by beneficiaries of federal investments through service cuts. Bridging the Tax Gap: The Case for Increasing the IRS Budget illustrates some of the factors that perpetuate the tax gap and offers practical solutions to the problem.

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E.O. 13422: Unanswered and Unaccountable

On Jan. 18, 2007, President George W. Bush issued Executive Order 13422, which amends Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review. As of July 24, 2007, agencies are to be in full compliance with the changes. But despite great attention paid by Congress, the media and the public, little new information has surfaced. This analysis outlines the ways in which the American people remain in the dark about how these changes will influence the way our government operates.

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Overcaution and Confusion

PACI2Overcaution and Confusion: The Impact of Ambiguous IRS Regulation of Political Activities by Charities and the Potential for Change contextualizes the points of consensus and debate that emerged during an Aug. 3, 2007, panel discussion on the potential for establishing a bright-line rule for the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) enforcement of the prohibition against partisan intervention in elections by charities and religious organizations.

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An Attack on Cancer Research: Industry's Obstruction of the National Toxicology Program

NTPDQAAn Attack on Cancer Research: Industry's Obstruction of the National Toxicology Program illustrates how, over the past five years, industry has repeatedly misused the Data Quality Act (DQA) to suppress important cancer-related information from the National Toxicology Program (NTP). The report also provides recommendations for NTP and other government programs and agencies regarding the implementation of DQA.

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How Nonprofits Helped America Vote: 2006

HAVAHow Nonprofits Helped America Vote: 2006 describes nonprofits' electoral engagement during the 2006 election and their preparation for upcoming elections. First, the report highlights how nonprofits are defending voters' rights against attacks, including tactics meant to suppress and intimidate voters, new voter ID requirements, and limitations on voter registration drives. Next, the report describes how nonprofits are working to protect the integrity of our elections. The report then surveys the activities that may be viewed as more traditional voter engagement and mobilization efforts. The report closes by urging nonprofits to help America vote in 2007 and 2008 and includes a list of resources for nonprofits who want more information on how they can do so.

 

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A Failure to Govern: Bush's Attack on the Regulatory Process

AFtGA Failure to Govern: Bush's Attack on the Regulatory Process outlines President Bush's recent changes to the regulatory process. The report details the potential impacts the changes will have on federal agencies and the American public, as well as what the changes mean to democracy at large.

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Against the Public's Will

TRI2 This summary of responses to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) plans to cut toxic reporting offers a detailed analysis of the comments submitted EPA's public docket on the proposed changes to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). The report identifies nine stakeholder groups, details the level of support or opposition of each group, and summarizes the main points raised by each group.

 

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The Cost Is Too High: How Susan Dudley Threatens Public Protections

Dudley - the cost is too high By nominating Susan Dudley to serve as White House regulatory czar, the Bush administration has signaled that it is shifting from siege to all-out war on the public's protections. Dudley is unfit to serve in this important role. Find out why in this special report from OMB Watch and Public Citizen, The Cost Is Too High: How Susan Dudley Threatens Public Protections.


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