SEC & FOIA Exemption in Dodd-Frank: Your Take?

Update 8/9/10:  The hearing on the SEC FOIA exemption has been moved up to September 16th.

Original Post: We need some input.  You may have read that the financial reform law includes a provision that allows the SEC to withhold certain investigative files confidential.  Fox Business is attacking this as a broad exemption ripe for abuse, while SEC says it really is meant narrowly and will issue guidance.  And today the House Financial Services Committee announced a hearing on September 23rd September 16 to look into the matter.

What’s the impact on journalists who’ve covered the SEC? Let us know if you’ve covered the SEC and can shed some light.  Add them to comments or email us.  All comments will be treated as public unless you specifically say otherwise.

Update 8/9/10: The text in question is below the jump.

SEC. 929I. PROTECTING CONFIDENTIALITY OF MATERIALS SUBMITTED TO THE COMMISSION.

(a) Securities Exchange Act of 1934. —Section 24 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 USC 78x) is amended—

(1) in subsection (d), by striking “subsection (e)” and inserting “subsection (f)”;
(2) by redesignating subsection (e) as subsection (f); and
(3) by inserting after subsection (d) the following:

“(e) Records Obtained From Registered Persons.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in subsection (f), the Commission shall not be compelled to disclose records or information obtained pursuant to section 17(b), or records or information based upon or derived from such records or information, if such records or information have been obtained by the Commission for use in furtherance of the purposes of this title, including surveillance, risk assessments, or other regulatory and oversight activities.
“(2) TREATMENT OF INFORMATION.—For purposes of section 552 of title 5, United States Code, this subsection shall be considered a statute described in subsection (b)(3)(B) of such section 552. Collection of information pursuant to section 17 shall be an administrative action involving an agency against specific individuals or agencies pursuant to section 3518(c)(1) of title 44, United States Code.”.

(b) Investment Company Act of 1940. —Section 31 of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (15 USC 80a-30) is amended—

(1) by striking subsection (c) and inserting the following:

“(c) Limitations on Disclosure by Commission.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Commission shall not be compelled to disclose any

[DELETED:  compliance or audit records, or information contained therein, provided to the Commission under this section. Nothing in this subsection shall authorize the Commission to withhold information from the Congress or prevent the Commission from complying with a request for information from any other Federal department or agency requesting the information for purposes within the scope of the jurisdiction of that department or agency, or complying with an order of a court of the United States in an action brought by the United States or the Commission. For purposes of section 552 of title 5 this section shall be considered a statute described in subsection (b)(3)(B) of such section 552. ]

ADDED:  records or information provided to the Commission under this section, or records or information based upon or derived from such records or information, if such records or information have been obtained by the Commission for use in furtherance of the purposes of this title, including surveillance, risk assessments, or other regulatory and oversight activities. Nothing in this subsection authorizes the Commission to withhold information from the Congress or prevent the Commission from complying with a request for information from any other Federal department or agency requesting the information for purposes within the scope of jurisdiction of that department or agency, or complying with an order of a court of the United States in an action brought by the United States or the Commission. For purposes of section 552 of title 5, United States Code, this section shall be considered a statute described in subsection (b)(3)(B) of such section 552. Collection of information pursuant to section 31 shall be an administrative action involving an agency against specific individuals or agencies pursuant to section 3518(c)(1) of title 44, United States Code.”; (emphasis added — RB)

(2) by striking subsection (d); and

(3) by redesignating subsections (e) and (f) as subsections (d) and (e), respectively.

(c) Investment Advisers Act of 1940.—Section 210 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (15 USC 80b-10) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(d) Limitations on Disclosure by the Commission.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Commission shall not be compelled to disclose any records or information provided to the Commission under section 204, or records or information based upon or derived from such records or information, if such records or information have been obtained by the Commission for use in furtherance of the purposes of this title, including surveillance, risk assessments, or other regulatory and oversight activities. Nothing in this subsection authorizes the Commission to withhold information from the Congress or prevent the Commission from complying with a request for information from any other Federal department or agency requesting the information for purposes within the scope of jurisdiction of that department or agency, or complying with an order of a court of the United States in an action brought by the United States or the Commission. For purposes of section 552 of title 5, United States Code, this subsection shall be considered a statute described in subsection (b)(3)(B) of such section 552. Collection of information pursuant to section 204 shall be an administrative action involving an agency against specific individuals or agencies pursuant to section 3518(c)(1) of title 44, United States Code.”.

About these ads

About sunshineingov
Coordinator of the Sunshine in Government Initiative

2 Responses to SEC & FOIA Exemption in Dodd-Frank: Your Take?

  1. Joe Jefferis says:

    Please take a few minutes to read my public comment to the Securities Exchange Commission regarding the new Dodd-Frank financial regulations:

    http://sec.gov/comments/df-title-ix/short-sale-disclosure/shortsaledisclosure-11.htm

    Be sure to check out the attached files #1 & #2 at the bottom of the comment page.

    Since posting this letter both the House and the Senate have voted to repeal SECrecy. Late last week, the White House would not comment on whether Obama would veto the repeal of SECrecy. While at the UN Obama said “we will call out those who suppress ideas”.

    Please share this your staff, writers, reporters, friends, neighbors and associates. If you have any suggestions on how others can be made aware of this situation, I will gladly accept your recommendations.

    Have a great day!

    Joe Jefferis
    Dayton, OH

  2. Pingback: FOIA Eyes Only: How Buried Statutes Are Keeping Information Secret « Vince's Economic Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 287 other followers

%d bloggers like this: