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House of Representatives Improves Disclosure of Stock Trades

The House of Representatives has entered the electronic age for personal financial information on members by making public its first electronic filing from a member of the House disclosing their stock transactions.

Stock and financial transaction reports of members of Congress are required to be filed periodically by the Stop Trading On Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act. These are made available to the public by the Clerk of the House of Representatives and the Secretary of the Senate.

The new voluntary electronic filing system was made available for use by House members at the beginning the year and permits them to fill in an electronic form, digitally sign it, and file it electronically. The new electronic filing system is voluntary, and other paper filings, many hand written, are continuing to be received, scanned and made public.

The first electronic filing was made available to the public this morning by the Clerk’s Legislative Resource Center.

On January 3rd, Rep. Bob Gibbs, R-Ohio, electronically signed and filed a periodic transaction report showing one sale on January 3, 2014 of $1,001 to $15,000 of Integrys Energy Group Inc (TEG), and one purchase on December 18, 2013, of $1,001 to $15,000 of Timken Company (TKR). Rep. Gibbs sits on the House Transportation Committee, and its subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials.

Rep. Gibbs stated he found the electronic system very smooth and easy to use. He especially liked the ability to key in a stock ticker symbol and have the system automatically add the full stock name. He said the new system also lets one view their filing history and trades. He said the reduction of paper files and copies was also an advantage, as well as receiving an automatic receipt.

Rep. Gibbs stated using the new electronic filing system was “more pleasurable than the nightmare of signing up for Obamacare.”

The Senate is developing an electronic filing system to handle their members’ periodic transaction reports, but no date has been released for its availability.

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