CFTC Reauthorization (H.R. 238) includes a FOIA exemption

Legislation approved on January 12 by the full House of Representatives to reauthorize the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (H.R. 238) contains an exemption to disclosure under federal FOIA for information CFTC may “asertain” regarding complicated trading structures known as commodity pools and client accounts. As introduced, the legislation required that the information be treated as investigative material. CFTC could publish aggregated information the disclosure of which would not identify “any person or firm, or such person’s proprietary information.”

On its face, the exemption appears to cover a broad amount of information, including:

“(A) the commodity trading advisor, commodity pool operator or the trading strategies of the commodity trading advisor or commodity pool operator;

(B) analytical or research methodologies of a commodity trading advisor or commodity pool operator;

(C) trading data of a commodity trading advisor or commodity pool operator; and

(D) computer hardware or software containing intellectual property of a commodity trading advisor or commodity pool operator”

The Senate will next consider legislation reauthorizing the Commission. According to CQ-Roll Call.com, the Senate passed a different version of the legislation last Congress and the House and Senate could not work out their differences.