SEC OIG: Review of the SEC's Compliance with the Freedom of Information Act

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on September 27, 2009

Review of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Compliance with the Freedom of Information Act, Securities and Exchange Commission Office of Inspector General, September 25, 2009.

  • “The OIG found that the manner that the Commission’s Chief FOIA Officer functioned was not in compliance with the requirements of Executive Order 13392 or the OPEN Government Act. Prior to our review of the FOIA program in connection with this report, the Commission had not defined any explicitly stated authorities, responsibilities, or reporting duties for the Chief FOIA Officer. During the course of this review, the SEC has taken steps to fill the Chief FOIA Officer position. Further, we determined that few FOIA liaisons have developed written policies and procedures for processing FOIA requests. This increases the risk of error and could result in information being inappropriately disclosed or the SEC could withhold information from the public that should be released. Additionally, we found that the SEC has inadequate or incorrect procedures for disclosing responsive documents that are not in compliance with Act. We also found that there is an insufficient separation of the administrative processes between the initial FOIA determination and the FOIA appeal process. In addition, SEC management has not established any comprehensive management, supervisory, or personnel practices for staff that are responsible for FOIA processing.”
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