Obama repeals SEC's FOIA exemption
Dunstan Prial of FoxBusiness.com reports Wednesday that President Barack Obama signed into law a piece of legislation that repealed the Securities and Exchange Commission‘s Freedom of Information Act exemption that had been included in this summer’s financial services reform legislation.
The exemption had drawn criticism from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers and other business journalists for inhibiting their work.
Prial writes, “The SEC defended the provision, suggesting it would help the agency in its efforts to expand its surveillance and investigations by ensuring that information obtained from banks and other financial institutions remained confidential.
“SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro made that case last month before a Congressional committee while arguing against repealing the provision.
“But the SEC wasn’t deaf to the criticism targeting the new law. The agency in September issued guidance to its employees apparently intended to ensure that SEC staffers did not withhold information that should be released to the public.
“Meanwhile, Congressman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who spearheaded the repeal effort, said in a letter to Schapiro last month he feared the SEC would use the provision to ‘avoid embarrassment and hide evidence of its regulatory and management failures.'”
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