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FSOC clarifies transparency policy
WASHINGTON (5/13/14)--The Financial Services Oversight Committee (FSOC) released an updated transparency policy last week, after critics in Congress and across the financial world accused the group of keeping its decision-making processes under wraps.

The new policy opens up all FSOC meetings to the public through a live stream online, except in certain circumstances listed below. Minutes will be released for each meeting after it has concluded, but are subject to redaction at the discretion of the chair.
The new policy also states that meetings will be open to the public whenever possible, but notes "the central mission of the FSOC is to monitor systemic and emerging threats. This will require discussion of supervisory and other market-sensitive data, including information about individual firms, transactions, and markets that may only be obtained if maintained on a confidential basis. Protection of this information will be necessary in order to prevent destabilizing market speculation that could occur if that information were to be disclosed."
Determination of whether or not a meeting is closed will be made by the chair, or through an affirmative vote of the majority of committee members.

Examples of a meeting that would be closed include instanced where an open meeting could:
  • Result in the disclosure of trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential;
  • Result in the disclosure of information of a personal nature that would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy or be inconsistent with Federal privacy laws, or of information that relates solely to internal personnel rules or practices;
  • Result in the disclosure of investigatory records compiled for law enforcement or supervisory purposes; and
  • Necessarily and significantly compromise the mission or purposes of the FSOC, as determined by the chairman with the concurrence of a majority of the voting member agencies or by a majority of the voting member agencies.

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