For Immediate Release
Groups Urge Senate to Support Sen. Grassley’s Efforts to Crack Down on Revolving Door at Financial Regulatory Agencies
WASHINGTON - In a letter sent last week, the Project On Government
Oversight (POGO) and several other groups urged the Senate to pass an amendment
to the financial reform legislation to expose and slow the revolving
door between financial regulatory agencies and the industries they
The revolving door has had a highly detrimental effect at agencies
such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in recent years, as
employees frequently appear to take a lax approach to regulation in
hopes of being employed by industry once they leave government. One recent
investigation by the SEC Office of Inspector General (OIG) found
that the former head of enforcement at the SEC's Forth Worth office-who
had played a big part in delaying and limiting the investigation of the
Stanford Ponzi scheme-sought to represent Stanford on three separate
occasions after leaving the agency, despite repeated warnings and
denials from the SEC ethics office.
An amendment introduced by Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) would
limit the harmful effects of the revolving door in several important
ways. It requires that certain financial regulatory employees observe a
"cooling off" period during which they will be prohibited from
representing an outside entity before their former agency. It also
requires financial regulatory agencies to maintain a registry of former
employees who went on to represent outside clients before the agency.
These registries would be posted online and made available to the public
in a searchable form, providing an additional check on revolving door
"The revolving door has been spinning out of control at our financial
regulatory agencies for years, raising serious concerns about the
agencies' ability to protect the public from a future financial crisis,"
said POGO Executive Director Danielle Brian. "We need more transparency
and accountability for regulatory employees who abuse the public's
trust, and the Grassley amendment does exactly that."
The letter in support of Senator Grassley's amendment was signed by
POGO and several other groups, including Common Cause, Consumers Union
and Public Citizen's Congress Watch.
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.