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Grand jury in probe of Iraq reconstruction watchdog issues subpoenas

February 21, 2008 A federal grand jury in Richmond, Va., has subpoenaed at least three witnesses in the investigation of alleged misconduct by Stuart Bowen, the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, which sources say appears to focus allegations that Bowen and his deputy, Ginger Cruz, improperly read office e-mails of their employees. ...

Administration defends proposed FOIA change

February 6, 2008 Bush administration officials on Tuesday defended an effort to move a Freedom of Information Act oversight office from the National Archives to the Justice Department, saying Justice already does tasks given to the new office by a recently enacted law. "Most of the proposed functions for the new Office of ...

Oversight committee chairman says EPA proposal threatens air quality at parks

February 6, 2008 House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., Wednesday pushed EPA to drop a proposed rule he said would weaken air quality protections for national parks by making it easier to build pollution-heavy facilities nearby. "I urge you to abandon this unsound proposal," Waxman wrote to EPA Administrator ...

Senator says White House is trying to undermine FOIA law

February 5, 2008 Weeks after agreeing on legislation to alter the Freedom of Information Act, the White House and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., could be headed for a legal confrontation over fiscal 2009 budget language Leahy says attempts to quietly undo part of the bill. In a paragraph improbably located ...

Plain language bill clears house subcommittee

February 1, 2008 A bill mandating that federal agencies use plain language in commonly-used forms won approval from a House panel this week, though Republicans will likely push to expand the reach of the legislation as it advances. The House Oversight and Government Reform Information Policy Subcommittee voted 3-0 to pass the measure ...

Oversight committee hopefuls enter the spotlight

January 31, 2008 The announcement by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee ranking member Tom Davis, R-Va., that he will not seek re-election will have multiple political repercussions, creating opportunities on the committee and in Davis' district while removing a lawmaker unusually engaged in details of government operations. Davis said Wednesday he will ...

Key House oversight legislator rules out bid for re-election

January 30, 2008 House Oversight and Government Reform Committee ranking member Tom Davis, R-Va., this afternoon became the third Republican in two days to announce he will not return to the House next year. "After much soul-searching and discussion with those closest to me, I have decided the time is right to take ...

House chairman compiling list of IGs' unused recommendations

January 30, 2008 The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is gathering from federal inspectors general lists of their unimplemented recommendations under President Bush, information that will allow Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., to step up monitoring of agencies and IGs. Waxman wants the independent watchdogs by Thursday to ...

Key House Oversight Republican likely to announce plans next week

January 25, 2008 House Oversight and Government Reform ranking member Tom Davis, R-Va., will likely announce next week whether he will seek re-election this year -- a decision that will be closely watched in Virginia and by House committee members. "Odds are strong he will make his announcement next week," said a person ...

Senators say White House plans to eliminate special FOIA office

January 25, 2008 Less than a month after President Bush signed legislation overhauling the Freedom of Information Act, the measure's main Senate backers are accusing the White House of planning to scuttle a special FOIA office in violation of the law. An aide to Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said Office of ...