POGO Calls for Real Accountability and Transparency in Financial Reform End Game

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Keith Rutter
Phone: 202-347-1122
Email: pogo@pogo.org

POGO Calls for Real Accountability and Transparency in Financial Reform End Game

WASHINGTON - Today, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) sent
a letter
to House and Senate conferees who will reconcile the
different versions of the financial reform legislation.  In the letter,
POGO offered detailed recommendations on several provisions to ensure
that the final financial regulatory reform legislation incorporates the
strongest features of the bills passed by the House (H.R. 4173, "The
Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009") and the Senate
(S. 3217, "The Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010").

POGO Executive Director Danielle Brian wrote:

As you put the finishing touches on this
landmark legislation, we strongly urge you to consider the following
recommendations in order to make our nation's financial regulatory
system more effective, accountable, open, and ethical:

1) BRING FULL TRANSPARENCY TO THE
CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS
: Make the conference proceedings fully
transparent by broadcasting them on C-SPAN and webcasting them online.

2) PROTECT FINANCIAL SERVICES
INDUSTRY WHISTLEBLOWERS
: Extend best-practices whistleblower
protections to financial services industry employees.

3) AUDIT THE FEDERAL RESERVE:
Give the Government Accountability Office the authority to conduct an
ongoing audit of the Federal Reserve, and require the Fed to make key
information about its emergency lending programs publicly available
online.

4) CREATE A STRONG AND
INDEPENDENT CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION AGENCY
: Create a
truly independent, stand-alone Consumer Financial Protection Agency with
full authority to issue rules and regulations to protect consumers.

5) REWARD WHISTLEBLOWERS WHO MAKE
DISCLOSURES TO THE SEC AND CFTC
: Expand the whistleblower
bounty program at the Securities and Exchange Commission and create an
identical program at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Additionally, replace secrecy provisions and FOIA exemptions with
authentic whistleblower confidentiality protections.

6) EXPAND SARBANES-OXLEY
WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTIONS
: Extend Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower
protections to employees of subsidiaries and affiliates of publicly
traded companies, and of nationally recognized statistical rating
organizations.

7) ADDRESS CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
AT CREDIT RATING AGENCIES
: Create a Credit Rating Agency Board
to help address the basic conflict of interest arising from "ratings
shopping."

8) STRENGTHEN THE INDEPENDENCE OF
FINANCIAL AGENCY WATCHDOGS
: Strengthen the independence of
certain agency appointed Inspectors General (IGs), including the IGs at
many financial regulatory agencies.

9) ADDRESS CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
AT FEDERAL RESERVE BANKS
: Amend the election process for
directors at Federal Reserve Banks in order to limit the influence of
the financial services industry.

Brian also stated in the letter:

Both versions of the legislation include
significant proposals for protecting whistleblowers, increasing
transparency, strengthening consumer protections, mitigating conflicts
of interest, and making other sweeping improvements to the financial
regulatory system. We urge you to incorporate the strongest of these
proposals into the final version of the bill in order to foster a
financial regulatory system that truly works in the best interest of
taxpayers, investors, and consumers.

The letter can be found here:
http://www.pogo.org/pogo-files/letters/financial-oversight/fo-fra-201006...

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The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is an independent nonprofit that investigates and exposes corruption and other misconduct in order to achieve a more effective, accountable, open and honest federal government.

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