November 01, 2012
OGE Releases Proposed Regulations for Comment Re: OGE Form 201-A
Nov. 1, 2012, Fed. Reg. issued OGE's notice for emergency clearance for the proposed OGE Form 201-A to permit electronic access to public financial disclosure reports, including periodic transaction reports, filed on or after Jan. 1, 2012, and posted pursuant to the STOCK Act amendments to the Ethics in Government Act. Public comments due on or before Nov. 6, 2012.
April 04, 2012
President signs STOCK Act
"On April 4, 2012, the President signed the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012 (STOCK Act) (S. 2038). The Act establishes new requirements for Executive Branch ethics programs, ethics officials, and the thousands of employees who currently file financial disclosure reports pursuant to the Ethics in Government Act. OGE fully supports the Act’s focus on improving transparency and promoting public confidence in government and is carefully analyzing the provisions of the new law. In consultation with DAEOs and other senior agency ethics officials, OGE will issue a series of Legal, Program, and Education Advisories to implement the Act’s provisions.
Questions from agency ethics officials should be directed to the OGE Team that supports your agency. Media and related inquiries should be directed to Vincent Salamone at (202) 482-9292."
See STOCK Act: Download STOCK Act
March 22, 2012
STOCK Act passes Senate and heads to President
POLITICO reports (3/22/12 2:03pm):
After weeks of delays, the Senate on Thursday sent a bill banning congressional insider trading to President Barack Obama for his expected signature.
The Senate voted 96 to 3 to pass a watered-down STOCK Act, which would bar members of Congress, their staff and some federal workers from profiting from non-public information obtained through their jobs.
- Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0312/74364.html
- Read CBS Story: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57402604-503544/congress-passes-scaled-back-stock-act/ (discussing drop of additional lobbyist registration amendment).
- Read Huffington Post article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/22/stock-act-senate-insider-trading-ban_n_1373081.html
- See OGE side-by-side comparison of House and Senate versions. http://www.oge.gov/About/Legislative-Affairs-and-Budget/Congressional-Correspondence/NEW--OGE-Comparison-of-Certain-Provisions-of-the-Senate-and-House-Versions-of-the-Stop-Trading-on-Congressional-Knowledge-Act-(STOCK-Act)(S--2038)/
March 21, 2012
Federal Times reports on possible STOCK Act vote
The Federal Times reports that the Senate may vote on the STOCK Act as early as Thursday morning. See full article at http://www.federaltimes.com/article/20120320/CONGRESS02/203200306/1001.
February 29, 2012
OGE's side-by-side comparision of the STOCK Act
It is worthy to take a look at the Office of Government Ethics side-by-side comparison of the various versions of the STOCK Act, which could create a public, sort and searchable, database of financial disclosure information in an effort to stymie insider trading concerns. See Download S2038 side-by-side
October 23, 2011
IT Contractor's Security Lapse on Disclosure Forms Creates Big Headaches for SEC
This morning's New York Times reports:
Two years ago, the S.E.C. began monitoring its employees’ investments more closely to allay public concern about possible conflicts of interest. Until then, its ethics office had encouraged employees to police themselves by checking a limited database of prohibited transactions.
The new system required employees to use a more comprehensive database, the Ethics Program System, to clear their securities transactions in advance and to record details about their financial holdings. To manage E.P.S., the agency hired Financial Tracking Technologies of Riverside, Conn., which provides similar services for money managers and large public companies.
At the time, the S.E.C. assured its employees that their brokerage account numbers and other financial data would be safe. The S.E.C.’s security personnel, the agency said, would test and audit the system. Besides, only “a small number of employees at the contractor” would have access to E.P.S., and those employees would undergo rigorous background checks, according to an e-mail sent to S.E.C. employees in the fall of 2009.
As it turns out, the IT contractor did not fulfill its security representations. The Times article describes the SEC's efforts to contain the problem and prevent similar issues. A National Treasury Employees Union representative noted:
This is particularly disturbing since the S.E.C. apparently had no mechanism to ensure that the outside contractor was maintaining the appropriate level of privacy and security in handling this private data.
By this time our more thoughtful ethics official readers will be asking themselves:
How does my agency's security for financial disclosure information in electronic format stack up?
October 07, 2011
One Good E-Filing System for Government Offices? (Open Thread)
One of the comments on our OGE conference posting raised an issue worth further discussion:
IEC or OGE needs to come up with one good e-filing system for small and large govt offices, than allowing each agency to upload specific agency documents in the system. Do you think this can happen?
The E-Filing Roadmap & Planning Workbook posted here recently may provide some assistance. However, we don't know enough about the subject to comment intelligently, so we will open up the comment section below for this post. Please share any insights you may have on this query.
September 26, 2011
E-Filing Roadmap & Planning Workbook Update
Update Oct. 14: Mr. Hancock advises us that the Farm Credit Administration should now be included in the list of eFiling programs:
The updated Roadmap & Planning Workbook: Electronically File (eFile) & Manage Financial Disclosure Reports (FDRs) is now available.
Updated for OGE's 18th National Government Ethics Conference, this workbook helps action officers considering eFiling get started and organized. It includes a suggested requirements list as well as summaries of current eFiling programs used in these agencies:
- DoJ/Executive Office for United States Attorneys
- National Technical Information Service (NTIS), US Department of Commerce
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
- National Science Foundation
Thanks to George Hancock, IEC e-Filing Workgroup Chair, for the tip.
April 08, 2009
DOJ Green Lights Electronic Records Concept
A Department of Justice OLC opinion that approves the general concept of electronic records may provide a boost to efforts to convert ethics filing to electronic processes. DOJ's summary of the opinion follows:
Federal official personnel and civil service retirement records that have been converted from paper to electronic format should be admissible in evidence in federal court under the Business Records Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1732, and should also qualify as "public records" admissible under Rule 1005 of the Federal Rules of Evidence.
Electronic versions of particular personnel records which, pursuant to statute or regulation, must be notarized, certified, signed, or witnessed, may be authenticated under Rules 901 and 902 of the Federal Rules of Evidence. Converting such documents to electronic format should not affect their admissibility under hearsay rules.
While this opinion does not alleviate all concerns about legal issues in electronic filing, it should relieve some fears about moving forward.
April 02, 2008
IEC eFiling Working Group
The IEC eFiling working group meeting scheduled for this afternoon is moved to April 23 at the OGE Conference Room from 1:30 - 3:30. A call in number will be provided for those preferring to call in to participate. The topics include:
- Handling of eFiling at National OGE Conference in Sept.
- Resume discussion of the eFiling Roadmap with view towards presenting it or portions at the Conf.
- Other topics to be determined.
Contact group chair George Hancock for more information:
703.696.5512 (Desk Monday & Thursday)
June 14, 2007
Electronic Filing Working Group
OGE's DAEOgram DO-07-014 provided a greenlight for federal agency implementation of electronic filing of public and confidential financial disclosure reports, along with guidelines for such projects. Favorable feedback from the May 17 IEC meeting discussing eFiling FDRs and DAEOgram DO-07-014 has prompted IEC explore establishing a Work Group/Steering Committee to collaborate on eFiling Financial Disclosure Reports (FDRs). If you are interested in participating/contributing to this effort contact George Hancock via e-mail:
geo-hancock -- AT -- us -- DOT -- army -- DOT -- mil
(Format changed to throw off automated spammer e-mail harvesting software; reformat before sending e-mail) .