April 4, 2014
by Walter M. Shaub, Jr.
Two years ago, the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act (STOCK Act) imposed the most sweeping changes to executive branch ethics laws in over 20 years. Since that time, OGE and the federal ethics community have worked together to make sure the law is implemented effectively and well understood by the federal employees it covers.
From the start, OGE collaborated with agency ethics officials to interpret the STOCK Act and provide training on its new requirements. For example, OGE published legal guidance on the increased reporting of financial transactions, the disclosure of employees’ negotiations for post-government employment or compensation, and the disclosure of mortgage information. Most recently, OGE provided guidance on the STOCK Act’s prohibition on buying stocks through initial public offerings, which applies to certain high-level government officials. OGE’s STOCK Act training included live in-person sessions, virtual presentations, and other products, such as the video OGE produced for employees who are required to file transaction reports.
OGE continues to work directly with agencies to implement the STOCK Act’s mandate to develop an electronic filing system for the executive branch. This filing system, which includes an interactive wizard, will increase the accuracy and timeliness of financial reporting. We have already begun our extensive testing of this system and look forward to introducing it later this year.