Senior executives group opposes STOCK Act disclosure requirements

Julie Jacobson/AP file photo

The chief association for career federal executives has come out against portions of legislation aimed at cracking down on insider trading by lawmakers, saying the so-called STOCK Act that has cleared both chambers of Congress would “unnecessarily and detrimentally affect career senior executives.”

The STOCK Act seeks to clarify an ambiguity in the 1934 Securities and Exchange Act by prohibiting members of Congress and their staffs from trading on information they obtain from their work that is not available to the general public. It would require disclosure 30 days after any securities trade of more than $1,000 and would compel all disclosures to be available electronically.

In the past two weeks, versions of the bill that cleared the Senate and then the House contained amendments broadening the disclosure requirements to cover thousands of executive branch employees in addition to those working on Capitol Hill.

In a Feb. 16 letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the top leaders of the nonprofit Senior Executives Association said their group “is unaware of instances where career senior executives have been subject to insider trading accusations.”

Association President Carol A. Bonosaro and General Counsel William Bransford wrote that while they can’t guarantee there haven’t been transgressions, “we believe that overall, career senior executives have little desire or opportunity to engage in the activities addressed by the legislation.”

Current requirements that senior executives complete annual financial disclosure reports using Form 278 from the Office of Government Ethics are sufficient, the association argued. The SEA officials also warned of challenges in the legislation’s plan for a new disclosure website to be maintained by the ethics office, saying the site would threaten privacy and consume too many resources. Additionally, Bonosaro and Bransford expressed concern that many senior executives could “run afoul” of the law without knowing it because their financial adviser might not alert them to recent trades within the requisite 30-day time frame.

“Overall, SEA believes that such extensive, burdensome and public reporting requirements will have a chilling effect on those employees considering entering the SES,” they wrote. “We question why anyone would want to subject themselves to such broad, unnecessary scrutiny.”

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
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download

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