Sep 14, 2012

ALJ Financial Disclosure Forms To Be Posted

     Federal Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) have long been required to file financial disclosure forms. I suppose one could make a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for one but it never occurred to me to request them. I am now hearing that Social Security intends to post online next year the financial disclosure forms filed by its ALJs. I hope this isn't coming to pass.
     I don't see the point of this. It's hard for me to imagine finding anything on one of these forms that would display a conflict of interest for a Social Security ALJ. This looks like an unwarranted invasion of privacy which could deter good people from becoming ALJs. When told of this plan one attorney I know  responded "Oh HELL no! I would never, ever want that information made public. Are they serious!!? If I ever had even slight aspirations of being an ALJ in my old age…I don’t anymore…."
     I hope this receives more consideration.

     Update: This is not the doing of the Social Security Administration. It is required by the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act. I do not understand why a scandal over members of Congress trading on inside information would require posting on the internet the financial disclosure forms filed by civil servants. That just punishes innocent people and makes it harder for the government to recruit talent. Just yesterday, a federal judge temporarily blocked implementation of the STOCK Act.

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