SGI testifies about new SEC FOIA exemption statute

SGI Coordinator Rick Blum provided testimony to the House Financial Services Committee regarding the Committee’s review of Section 929I of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”). Section 929I added three statutory exemptions – known as “b(3)”s, after the subsection of FOIA permitting them – for the Securities and Exchange Commission to use to withhold information from FOIA requesters. Blum argued that Section 929I is overbroad and should be re-written; only Congress can repair 929I; Congress should not risk waiting and having an overbroad interpretation of 929I become ensconced in agency practice; and this process can be part of a larger effort to improve congressional review of b(3) exemption statutes.

Joining Blum on the panel were former SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt, Angela Canterbury of the Project On Government Oversight (POGO), FOIA attorney Steven Mintz, and securities attorney Susan Merrill. Testifying in earlier panels were SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro, and Representatives Edolphus Towns and Darrell Issa (Chairman and Ranking Member, respectively, of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee).

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