On Wednesday, March 1st, SFIG spoke with staff members on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on recently introduced legislation that would make the GSEs subject to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests while they are in conservatorship.
Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, had introduced similar GSE FOIA legislation in previous Congresses (H.R. 463 in 2011, H.R. 1577 in 2015), stating that it would increase transparency and accountability. SFIG provided feedback on the new legislation, including raising questions of scope and applicability, and seeking clarity into what FOIA exemptions might apply. While SFIG believes that transparency at the GSEs is a positive development in principle, critical questions about protecting trade secrets and proprietary business information must also be addressed in the legislation.