The Washington Post has an editorial today — entitled “Laughing STOCK” in today’s print editions — criticizing the STOCK Act’s internet publication mandate for executive branch financial disclosure forms.
Here are two key excerpts:
As its name implies, the act was conceived with the legitimate aim of preventing insider trading in Congress. Four months after it was signed into law, however, it’s clear that a portion of the act would do far more than that, potentially jeopardizing national security along with the personal safety of more than 28,000 executive-branch employees.
Furthermore, the Privacy Act — which doesn’t apply to Congress — protects federal agencies, and if lawmakers decide to keep some version of Section 11 intact, they must find a way to require disclosure without compromising the protection that online disclosure would deny these officials. If they don’t, there’s a major disincentive for a pool of talented, un-elected employees to continue working for the government. National security concerns aside, that’s a risk lawmakers shouldn’t be willing to take.