Government Revises Financial Disclosure Rules

Researchers welcome a new ruling saying that financial holdings will no longer need to be published in an online database.

Apr 18, 2013
Edyta Zielinska

WIKIMEDIA, KMCCOYAs part of a revision to the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act enacted last year, researchers will no longer have to disclose their investments—a requirement  that some said was an invasion of privacy that would hinder the government’s ability to recruit and retain government scientists.  Monday (April 18) President Obama signed a law eliminating that requirement from the bill.

When the bill was first enacted last April, researchers from the National Institutes of Health and NASA joined in a lawsuit to block the law. The STOCK Act was intended to prevent insider trading by members of Congress, but also required 28,000 senior members of the executive branch, which included some members of the NIH staff, to report their assets and nonfederal income as well as the incomes of their spouses and children.

The federal employees have now withdrawn their lawsuit. “I can't tell you how great it feels to have closure,” Joshua Zimmerberg, a researcher at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, who helped organize the effort, told ScienceInsider.