FedScoop: Library of Congress is spending $1.5M on a public Congressional Research Service reports website. Is it worth it?. “When President Donald Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 into law, he put a legislative mandate behind a decades-old transparency initiative. Buried in the bill’s 2,232 pages is a section that directs the Library of Congress to build and maintain a new website — a public-facing home for the taxpayer-funded reports written by the Congressional Research Service. In response, the library has crafted a plan for development, a schedule for deployment and an estimated price tag for the build. Fans of the CRS’s work, however, are wondering whether it’s all worth it.”
Bloomberg Government: Federal Spending Site Still Lacks Data After Revamp, Report Says. “A new version of the Treasury Department-run USAspending.gov, officially launched March 2, was designed to remedy missing or faulty information on federal contract awards and executive compensation. The site was re-launched under the DATA Act, the law passed in 2014 to make federal expenditures more transparent. Yet eight of the 97 agencies the website tracks are late in reporting DATA Act spending information—including the Defense Department, which is almost a year behind in its submissions, according to a June 28 letter from the Project on Government Oversight, a Washington-based nonpartisan, independent government watchdog. Other government programs have submitted very few spending records or none, according to the group.”
The Daily Beast: Inside the Online Campaign to Whitewash the History of Donald Trump’s Russian Business Associates. “The Daily Beast previously reported that a Pakistani blogger had been paid to write an article for the Huffington Post’s now-defunct contributor platform hailing the dismissal of the tax fraud case. That blogger, who went by the handle Waqas KH, said his client, whom he declined to name, had provided the text of the piece in full. HuffPost is a prominent U.S. news source, but on more obscure platforms, used explicitly for search-engine optimization, over 50 other stories have popped up hyping the lawsuit’s dismissal and attempting to insulate Trump from controversy involving Sater and Bayrock. The articles were published over an eight-month period, from September 2017 through June 2018.”
New York Times: Facebook Ads Offer Peek at Looming Supreme Court Fight. “Even before President Trump’s new Supreme Court nominee is announced, a fight over the choice is raging on social media. In the days since Justice Anthony M. Kennedy said he would retire, partisan groups have turned to Facebook, Twitter and other social networks with political ads. Some of the ads urge voters to pressure their senators to block or speed the confirmation process for Mr. Trump’s eventual nominee. Others oppose allowing specific jurists to fill the vacant seat.”
AAFP: AHRQ: National Guideline Clearinghouse to Shut Down July 16. “In less than a month, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC) website will cease operations. An announcement posted on the NGC website… states that ‘because federal funding through AHRQ will no longer be available to support the NGC,’ the site will shut down after July 16. A similar AHRQ online database, the National Quality Measures Clearinghouse… also will close up shop after July 16.” AAFP is the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Fedscoop: Why we need a federal data strategy. “Three months ago, the White House released the President’s Management Agenda with ambitious plans for upgrading the federal government’s technical and data capabilities and the workforce to support them. A key part of that agenda was the commitment to develop an integrated Federal Data Strategy ‘that encompasses all relevant governance, standards, infrastructure and commercialization challenges of operating in a data-driven world.’ To drive progress in this area, the President’s Management Agenda established a cross-agency priority (CAP) goal, Leveraging Data as a Strategic Asset, for all federal agencies to follow.”
Wired: ‘ICE Is Everywhere’: Using Library Science To Map The Separation Crisis. “Since May, the US government had taken more than 2,300 kids away from their families as a result of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ new ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policy, which calls for criminally prosecuting all people entering the country illegally…. Between the ad-hoc implementation of ‘zero tolerance’ and the opaque bureaucracy of the immigration system in general, migrant advocates, journalists, and even politicians struggled to find clear answers. [Alex] Gil, a father of two, knew they could be useful. As the digital scholarship librarian at Columbia University, Gil’s job is to use technology to help people find information—skills he had put to use in times of crisis before.”