Tuesday, January 6, 2015

New House Rules Go After Think Tank Funding

The movement to make think tank funding more transparent scored a big win today as the new US House rules will require think tank scholars testifying before Congress to disclose contracts or payments from foreign governments.

The disclosure requirement covers payments received during the current calendar year or either of the two previous calendar years by the witness (i.e., a think tank expert) or by an entity represented by the witness (i.e., a think tank).

The disclosure must include the amount that the think tank or think tanker has received from that foreign source.

The new rules can be found here (h/t Eric Lipton of New York Times).

The issue of think tank funding policies became a huge issue after last year's New York Times investigative report titled "Foreign Powers Buy Influence at Think Tanks."

After that piece was published, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) drafted a proposal requiring think tank scholars testifying before Congress to disclose foreign government support.

Think Tank Watch predicts that many think tanks scholars who receive foreign government funding will refuse invitations to testify before Congress, as many to not want to disclose such information.

Much more coming soon...