Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Our advocacy campaign to protect national security interests and members' personal safety and financial security registered two significant successes yesterday afternoon on the eve of a long Congressional recess. However, there is more work ahead.
As you may have seen in press reports, Congress passed legislation (S. 3510) last night to delay implementation of the STOCK Act (PL 112-105) for one month in order to have time to address concerns raised by AFSA, our coalition partners who have been working on this issue, and top former national security leaders (see their letter here) on the online posting of financial disclosure information contained in Section 11 of the law. This delay is a sign that Congress is listening to our concerns about the personal and national security risks that the STOCK Act has created. AFSA has been working this issue intensively since May and we will continue to engage with agency management and with key members of Congress in the coming weeks to advocate for necessary corrections to the STOCK Act that will protect our members' privacy and personal safety and ensure that national security concerns are addressed.
Furthermore, on Thursday, August 2, AFSA joined with the Senior Executive Association (SEA) and five other federal organizations including the Assembly of Scientists and the National Association of Immigration Judges, as well as individual federal employees, in filing a suit in Maryland federal court against the public disclosure requirements of the STOCK Act on the basis that it violates employees’ rights to privacy. The American Civil Liberties Union is representing the coalition.
Achieving necessary corrections to the STOCK Act to protect Foreign Service employees from the risks of having their personal financial information publically available is a top AFSA priority. We are encouraged by Congress’s actions and will continue to press for an exemption for the Foreign Service and all of the foreign affairs agencies. Additional information can be found by clicking here.
Susan R. Johnson