The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform today released â€œWhite House: Transparency Behind Closed Doors?â€, a video highlighting the White Houseâ€™s recent refusal to explain an Executive Order which would politicize the federal procurement process. In its handling of this contentious Executive Order, the White House underscores its failure to live up to President Obamaâ€™s own open government and transparency promises.
â€œThe way to make government responsible is to hold it accountable. And the way to make government accountable is to make it transparent so that the American people can know exactly what decisions are being made, how theyâ€™re being made, and whether their interests are being well served.â€ â€“ President Barack Obama: January 21, 2009
Yet during a May 12 joint Oversight and Small Business Committee hearing on the proposed Obama Executive Order mandating the disclosure of political donations by government contractors, senior White House aide Daniel Gordon captured this Administrationâ€™s view of â€œopen governmentâ€:
â€œDoes it strike you at all as being ironic to invoke confidentiality and not answering questions when weâ€™re having a hearing about transparency?â€ â€“ Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC)
â€œIt does not, sir. I think there are discussions, even about transparency and developing rules about transparency that we need to be able to have quietly and behind closed doors.â€ â€“ Hon. Daniel Gordon, Administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, Office of Management and Budget, Executive Office of the President
The Mission of the Oversight Committee â€œis to hold government accountable to taxpayers, because taxpayers have a right to know what they get from their government.â€ Right now, American taxpayers are funding a White House that believes private donations should be injected into the nonpartisan government contracting process. How does that deliver on President Obamaâ€™s promised open and accountable government?