Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Congress Pushes to End SEC FOIA Exemption

According to this article in SouthCoastToday, Cong. Darryl Issa (R-CA) is leading the charge to put the SEC back under FOIA regulations. (ht FOIABlog)

IMHO, very unfortunately, FOIA is no guarantee of public access to anything, given the various exemptions, including privacy and proprietary commercial information, in existing law. Alhough the exemption from FOIA is an obvious slap in the face of the American public, so far as I can tell, it only means that the SEC and Senators Frank, Dodd et al. didn't approach the issue with sufficient nuance, perhaps a reflection of Mary Schapiro's inexperience in government.

Bottom line: There is no reason to exempt SEC from FOIA. Also no reason to believe that putting the SEC under FOIA would result in greater openness or accountability.

This issue is one of political perception.