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Category: Organizations > Environmental Legislation And Policy > Environmental Politics

OMB Watch

OMB Watch is a nonprofit research and advocacy organization dedicated to promoting government accountability, citizen participation in public policy decisions, and the use of fiscal and regulatory policy to serve the public interest. Located in Washington, DC, OMB Watch was founded in 1983 to lift the veil of secrecy shrouding the powerful White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The organization has since expanded its focus to include the substantive areas that OMB oversees: federal budget, taxation and government performance; information and access; nonprofit action, advocacy, policy and technology; and regulatory policy.
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1742 Connecticut Avenue, N.W
Washington , DC 20009
Contact Person: Gary Bass, Executive Director
Phone: 202-234-8494
Fax: 202-234-8584
Website: http://www.ombwatch.org

Detailed Information:
Over the years, we at OMB Watch have expanded our focus to address the substantive issues we originally began tracking in the course of monitoring OMB. We now concentrate on four main areas:

* Budget, taxation and government performance issues
* Information and access
* Nonprofit action, advocacy, policy and technology
* Regulatory policy.

In all our work, we are committed to improving access to decision-makers and energizing citizen participation to strengthen civil society and make government more just, equitable and accountable. We work primarily with and through the nonprofit sector because of its vital and powerful role in supporting and securing our communities and democracy.

At the national level, OMB Watch is deeply engaged in policy debate and formulation, and is well-known for convening diverse coalitions comprising nonprofits that deal with environmental, low-income, health, education, consumer, labor, religious, and other public interest issues. For example, in 1995 we initiated Citizens for Sensible Safeguards with the endorsement of 300 organizations calling for the strengthening and vigorous enforcement of regulatory protections for public health, safety, civil rights, and the environment. Similarly in 2004, we launched OpenTheGovernment.org, an unprecedented coalition of journalists, environmentalists, labor, and consumer and good government groups seeking more open and accountable government. We continue to coordinate and grow both campaigns. Other coalitions and campaigns in which we play a key role include Americans for a Fair Estate Tax, Community Toxics Watch, and Nonprofitadvocacy.org.

At the same time, OMB Watch works closely with state and community groups across the country. Since our first days we have conducted workshops and briefings on a range of federal issues in collaboration with hundreds of grassroots organizations that today regularly help us with our work. In 1989 we created RTK NET (www.rtknet.org), an online service providing environmental data. We have since taught thousands of small groups how to use RTK NET and other online and Internet technologies effectively to address problems in their communities.

Other current OMB Watch projects include opposing the politicization of science and Data Quality Act; soaring federal deficits and tax cuts that favor the wealthy; and efforts to censor and suppress nonprofit advocacy. In a number of areas, we are also working to create long-term and "proactive initiatives, to break the defensive cycle of reaction that for too long has dominated progressive movements.

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