The U.S. Senate today joined the House in approving a bill that would postpone a requirement to post to the Internet financial disclosure forms of as many as 28,000 senior level federal employees. The House approved the measure on Dec. 5.
The passage of H.R. 6634 effectively delays the current deadline for posting the financial data of senior federal employees, from Dec. 8, 2012, until April 15, 2013.
The delay is a temporary fix in addressing concerns that posting sensitive financial and family information online would place families and dependents of federal employees, many working overseas, at risk. The requirement stemmed from legislation, known as the STOCK Act, originally aimed at making the stock trades of those in Congress more transparent.
The new deadline should provide more time for Congress to consider recommendations due March 28, from the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA), regarding the national and personal security concerns that have been raised, say representatives of the Senior Executive Service.
“The Senior Executives Association has raised numerous concerns about the unintended consequences of posting the financial disclosure forms of federal employees on a public database with no safeguards,” stated Carol Bonosaro, SEA’s president.
“As SEA has continued to point out, federal employees in the Executive and Legislative branches face security risks due to the information and programs they oversee and many have already received threats based on the nature of their work,” said Bonosaro.
“It is critical that Congress allow NAPA time to complete its study to identify whether the interest in transparency outweighs the national and personal security concerns that arise from posting financial disclosure forms,” continued Bonosaro, who praised Congress for passing the legislation.