Senior Execs’ Finances Won’t Go Online

bloomua/Shutterstock.com

Senior federal employees will not have to disclose their personal finances for an online public database under legislation Congress approved on Friday.

Both chambers agreed to end a requirement in the 2012 Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act for senior career executives and congressional staff to disclose their finances for an online downloadable and searchable database. The financial disclosure requirement in the law still applies to the president, vice president, Cabinet officials and other senior administration officials requiring Senate confirmation, lawmakers and congressional candidates.

The House passed S. 716 by unanimous consent Friday, after the Senate approved the bill Thursday evening.

Carol Bonosaro, president of the Senior Executives Association, praised lawmakers for making “the right decision” and said the group “is grateful to Congress for recognizing the harm that would have resulted from posting financial disclosure statements of senior level career employees on the Web.”

The STOCK Act is designed to combat insider trading in government and enhance transparency, but several groups opposed the creation of a public database containing the personal finances of federal employees and their spouses. Critics, including SEA, pointed to the unintended consequences that could result from posting the financial details of the senior civil service corps online, including identity theft, kidnapping and extortion, particularly for those employees and their families living overseas and intelligence personnel working undercover in foreign countries.

The nonprofit National Academy of Public Administration, which last month recommended a suspension of the online posting requirement for federal employees, argued that extensive information on the personal finances of those employees already is required by law, and that making it so readily available online, coupled with the already vast reach of the Internet, makes it too easy for individuals or organizations to exploit that information for criminal and other purposes. High-ranking government personnel currently file financial disclosure forms to the Office of Government Ethics; they are available to the public upon written request.

Congress had postponed the STOCK Act disclosure requirement for career employees and staffers until April 15 to review the issue. The latest legislative action essentially ends the requirement for those groups saying it “shall not be effective” for them.

(Image via bloomua/Shutterstock.com)

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.