Feds gain time on financial disclosure requirements

Henny Ray Abrams/AP

Amid heavy backlash, Congress has pushed back by one month the deadline for federal executives to provide personal financial information for a public database, as required by the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act.

The extension from Aug. 31 to Sept. 30 came after the American Civil Liberties Union, in partnership with groups representing federal employees, filed a lawsuit at the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland in Greenbelt against the government on behalf of the 28,000 federal workers affected by the policy. The lawsuit claimed the requirement to post disclosures on the Internet is a breach of a constitutional right to privacy.

The Senior Executives Association, which has repeatedly voiced concern over the STOCK Act disclosure provisions and was one of the groups to join the ACLU’s lawsuit, said the delay is a step in the right direction.

“The Senior Executives Association applauds Congress for taking the first step in remedying a provision in the STOCK Act that requires public financial disclosures to be posted on the Internet,” the group said in a statement. “It is clear from this action that Congress has heard the strong concerns voiced by SEA and other federal employee associations.”

The American Foreign Service Association, the Assembly of Scientists and the National Association of Immigration Judges joined SEA and ACLU in the suit. The groups said the disclosure provisions are an invasion of privacy and create an unnecessary security risk for federal managers, especially those serving abroad.

A spokeswoman for Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., told Government Executive the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee chairman wants to address the issues the employee groups have raised when Congress comes back from recess.

“Sen. Lieberman would like to find a way to prevent online disclosure of personal financial information that would risk national security, or endanger safety of the filers and their families,” said Leslie Phillips, Lieberman’s spokeswoman.

Lieberman is not the only lawmaker who has noted the employee groups’ concerns. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., recently raised concerns about the controversial STOCK Act provision.

Pre-STOCK Act policies required high-ranking government personnel to file financial disclosure forms, but they were available to the public only upon written request.

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

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

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


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