Bill Aims at Ending FSOC Secrecy
Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) introduced the Financial Stability Oversight Council Transparency and Accountability Act, aimed at increasing transparency at the FSOC.
“Over the last two years, it has become increasingly apparent that the Financial Stability Oversight Council, created by the Dodd-Frank Act, is in serious need of reform,” Garrett said in a statement. “The council meets in secret, refuses to disclose substantive transcripts, and blocks any requests by other regulators or members of Congress for a more open and transparent process.
Garrett said the Department of Treasury would not allow him to attend the most recent FSOC meeting on March 27. The board currently consists of single-party, politically appointed heads of each financial services regulatory body. The FSOC meetings are not open to the press.
“This follows on public reports of FSOC barring other financial regulators, whose agency principals are members, from attending and participating in these meetings. This is completely unacceptable,” said Garrett, chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government-Sponsored Enterprises.
Garrett’s legislation would subject the FSOC to the Government in the Sunshine Act and the Federal Advisory Committee Act. Members of Congress on the congressional oversight committees of FSOC would be able to attend all FSOC meetings.
Garrett also said the rationale behind the council’s decisions is not clear.
“Congress granted this new body extraordinary and unprecedented authority to unilaterally decide which private U.S. nonbank companies pose a systemic risk to the United States. Companies that are designated are then subject to heightened regulatory scrutiny and are brought under the government safety net,” Garrett said.
“However, upon granting this significantly new authority, there was little thought given to what steps should be included to ensure appropriate accountability and oversight of this new body—prompting bipartisan concern,” he said.