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WTF: Senate votes overnight to hide financial disclosures...

 AP

AP

The Senate voted late Thursday to free thousands of federal government employees from having to disclose their financial dealings online, in a move that’s proving to be controversial.

The National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) says posting all of that information online poses a national security risk. But the open-government group Sunlight Foundation says releasing staffers from online disclosure mandates eviscerates part of last year’s Stock Act, designed to stop insider trading by federal officials.

“Rather than craft narrow exemptions, or even delay implementation until proper protections could be created, the Senate decided instead to exclude legislative and executive staffers from the online disclosure requirements,” Lisa Rosenberggovernment affairs consultant for the Sunlight Foundationwrote in a blog posting.

Senators acted late Thursday, passing the bill by unanimous consent. It still needs approval of the House and from President Obama to become law.

Last year, after CBS’s “60 Minutes” did a report suggesting that some government officials were financially benefiting from insider knowledge of federal actions, Congress passed the Stock Act, which was designed to crack down on insider trading.

Part of the law required that senior government officials’ financial disclosure reports — which they are already required to submit in paper — be made available online in a searchable, sortable format. The belief was that publishing them online would make it easier for reporters and the public to spot illicit dealings. Read more via The Washington Times...

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