5a U.S. Code Rule - Custody of and public access to reports

(a) Each agency, each supervising ethics office in the executive or judicial branch, the Clerk of the House of Representatives, and the Secretary of the Senate shall make available to the public, in accordance with subsection (b), each report filed under this title with such agency or office or with the Clerk or the Secretary of the Senate, except that—
(1) this section does not require public availability of a report filed by any individual in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, or the National Security Agency, or any individual engaged in intelligence activities in any agency of the United States, if the President finds or has found that, due to the nature of the office or position occupied by such individual, public disclosure of such report would, be  [1] revealing the identity of the individual or other sensitive information, compromise the national interest of the United States; and such individuals may be authorized, notwithstanding section 104 (a), to file such additional reports as are necessary to protect their identity from public disclosure if the President first finds or has found that such filing is necessary in the national interest; and
(2) any report filed by an independent counsel whose identity has not been disclosed by the division of the court under chapter 40 of title 28, United States Code, and any report filed by any person appointed by that independent counsel under such chapter, shall not be made available to the public under this title.
(b)
(1) Except as provided in the second sentence of this subsection, each agency, each supervising ethics office in the executive or judicial branch, the Clerk of the House of Representatives, and the Secretary of the Senate shall, within thirty days after any report is received under this title by such agency or office or by the Clerk or the Secretary of the Senate, as the case may be,, [2] permit inspection of such report by or furnish a copy of such report to any person requesting such inspection or copy. With respect to any report required to be filed by May 15 of any year, such report shall be made available for public inspection within 30 calendar days after May 15 of such year or within 30 days of the date of filing of such a report for which an extension is granted pursuant to section 101 (g). The agency, office, Clerk, or Secretary of the Senate, as the case may be  [3] may require a reasonable fee to be paid in any amount which is found necessary to recover the cost of reproduction or mailing of such report excluding any salary of any employee involved in such reproduction or mailing. A copy of such report may be furnished without charge or at a reduced charge if it is determined that waiver or reduction of the fee is in the public interest.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), a report may not be made available under this section to any person nor may any copy thereof be provided under this section to any person except upon a written application by such person stating—
(A) that person’s name, occupation and address;
(B) the name and address of any other person or organization on whose behalf the inspection or copy is requested; and
(C) that such person is aware of the prohibitions on the obtaining or use of the report.
Any such application shall be made available to the public throughout the period during which the report is made available to the public.
(3)
(A) This section does not require the immediate and unconditional availability of reports filed by an individual described in section 109(8) or 109(10) of this Act if a finding is made by the Judicial Conference, in consultation with United States Marshals Service, that revealing personal and sensitive information could endanger that individual or a family member of that individual.
(B) A report may be redacted pursuant to this paragraph only—
(i) to the extent necessary to protect the individual who filed the report or a family member of that individual; and
(ii) for as long as the danger to such individual exists.
(C) The Administrative Office of the United States Courts shall submit to the Committees on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives and of the Senate and the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform an annual report with respect to the operation of this paragraph including—
(i) the total number of reports redacted pursuant to this paragraph;
(ii) the total number of individuals whose reports have been redacted pursuant to this paragraph;
(iii) the types of threats against individuals whose reports are redacted, if appropriate;
(iv) the nature or type of information redacted;
(v) what steps or procedures are in place to ensure that sufficient information is available to litigants to determine if there is a conflict of interest;
(vi) principles used to guide implementation of redaction authority; and
(vii) any public complaints received relating to redaction.
(D) The Judicial Conference, in consultation with the Department of Justice, shall issue regulations setting forth the circumstances under which redaction is appropriate under this paragraph and the procedures for redaction.
(E) This paragraph shall expire on December 31, 2017, and apply to filings through calendar year 2017.
(c)
(1) It shall be unlawful for any person to obtain or use a report—
(A) for any unlawful purpose;
(B) for any commercial purpose, other than by news and communications media for dissemination to the general public;
(C) for determining or establishing the credit rating of any individual; or
(D) for use, directly or indirectly, in the solicitation of money for any political, charitable, or other purpose.
(2) The Attorney General may bring a civil action against any person who obtains or uses a report for any purpose prohibited in paragraph (1) of this subsection. The court in which such action is brought may assess against such person a penalty in any amount not to exceed $10,000. Such remedy shall be in addition to any other remedy available under statutory or common law.
(d)
(1) Any report filed with or transmitted to an agency or supervising ethics office or to the Clerk of the House of Representatives or the Secretary of the Senate pursuant to this title shall be retained by such agency or office or by the Clerk of the House of Representatives or the Secretary of the Senate, as the case may be.
(2) Such report shall be made available to the public—
(A) in the case of a Member of Congress until a date that is 6 years from the date the individual ceases to be a Member of Congress; and
(B) in the case of all other reports filed pursuant to this title, for a period of 6 years after receipt of the report.
(3) After the relevant time period identified under paragraph (2), the report shall be destroyed unless needed in an ongoing investigation, except that in the case of an individual who filed the report pursuant to section 101 (b) and was not subsequently confirmed by the Senate, or who filed the report pursuant to section 101 (c) and was not subsequently elected, such reports shall be destroyed 1 year after the individual either is no longer under consideration by the Senate or is no longer a candidate for nomination or election to the Office of President, Vice President, or as a Member of Congress, unless needed in an ongoing investigation or inquiry.


[1]  So in original. Probably should be “by”.

[2]  So in original.

[3]  So in original. Probably should be followed by a comma.

Source

(Pub. L. 95–521, title I, § 105,Oct. 26, 1978, 92 Stat. 1833; Pub. L. 101–194, title II, § 202,Nov. 30, 1989, 103 Stat. 1737; Pub. L. 101–280, § 3(6),May 4, 1990, 104 Stat. 154; Pub. L. 102–90, title III, § 313(2),Aug. 14, 1991, 105 Stat. 469; Pub. L. 103–359, title V, § 501(m),Oct. 14, 1994, 108 Stat. 3430; Pub. L. 104–201, div. A, title XI, § 1122(b)(2),Sept. 23, 1996, 110 Stat. 2687; Pub. L. 105–318, § 7,Oct. 30, 1998, 112 Stat. 3011; Pub. L. 107–126, Jan. 16, 2002, 115 Stat. 2404; Pub. L. 108–458, title I, § 1079(c),Dec. 17, 2004, 118 Stat. 3696; Pub. L. 110–24, §§ 2, 3,May 3, 2007, 121 Stat. 100; Pub. L. 110–177, title I, § 104,Jan. 7, 2008, 121 Stat. 2535; Pub. L. 110–417, [div. A], title IX, § 931(b)(1),Oct. 14, 2008, 122 Stat. 4575; Pub. L. 112–84, § 1,Jan. 3, 2012, 125 Stat. 1870; Pub. L. 112–105, § 8(c),Apr. 4, 2012, 126 Stat. 296.)
Codification

Section was formerly classified to section 705 of Title 2, The Congress.
Amendments

2012—Subsec. (b)(3)(A). Pub. L. 112–84, § 1(1), substituted “Marshals” for “Marshall”.
Subsec. (b)(3)(C). Pub. L. 112–84, § 1(2), inserted “and the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform” after “of the Senate”.
Subsec. (b)(3)(E). Pub. L. 112–84, § 1(3), substituted “2017” for “2011” in two places.
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 112–105amended subsec. (d) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (d) read as follows: “Any report filed with or transmitted to an agency or supervising ethics office or to the Clerk of the House of Representatives or the Secretary of the Senate pursuant to this title shall be retained by such agency or office or by the Clerk or the Secretary of the Senate, as the case may be. Such report shall be made available to the public for a period of six years after receipt of the report. After such six-year period the report shall be destroyed unless needed in an ongoing investigation, except that in the case of an individual who filed the report pursuant to section 101 (b) and was not subsequently confirmed by the Senate, or who filed the report pursuant to section 101 (c) and was not subsequently elected, such reports shall be destroyed one year after the individual either is no longer under consideration by the Senate or is no longer a candidate for nomination or election to the Office of President, Vice President, or as a Member of Congress, unless needed in an ongoing investigation.”
2008—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 110–417substituted “National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency” for “National Imagery and Mapping Agency”.
Subsec. (b)(3)(E). Pub. L. 110–177substituted “2011” for “2009” in two places.
2007—Subsec. (b)(3)(A). Pub. L. 110–24, § 2(1), inserted “or a family member of that individual” before period at end.
Subsec. (b)(3)(B)(i). Pub. L. 110–24, § 2(2), inserted “or a family member of that individual” before semicolon.
Subsec. (b)(3)(C)(iv) to (vii). Pub. L. 110–24, § 3(b), added cls. (iv) to (vii).
Subsec. (b)(3)(E). Pub. L. 110–24, § 3(a), substituted “2009” for “2005” in two places.
2004—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 108–458inserted “the Office of the Director of National Intelligence,” before “the Central Intelligence Agency”.
2002—Subsec. (b)(3)(E). Pub. L. 107–126substituted “2005” for “2001” in two places.
1998—Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 105–318added par. (3).
1996—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 104–201substituted “National Imagery and Mapping Agency” for “Central Imagery Office”.
1994—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 103–359inserted “the Central Imagery Office,” after “Defense Intelligence Agency,”.
1991—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 102–90substituted “Except as provided in the second sentence of this subsection, each agency” for “Each agency” and inserted after first sentence “With respect to any report required to be filed by May 15 of any year, such report shall be made available for public inspection within 30 calendar days after May 15 of such year or within 30 days of the date of filing of such a report for which an extension is granted pursuant to section 101 (g).”
1990—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 101–280, § 3(6)(A), amended subsec. (a) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (a) read as follows: “Each agency and each supervisory ethics office shall make each report filed with it under this title available to the public in accordance with the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, except that this section does not require public availability of a report filed by—
“(1) any individual in the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, or the National Security Agency, or any individual engaged in intelligence activities in any agency of the United States, if the President finds that, due to the nature of the office or position occupied by such individual, public disclosure of such report would, by revealing the identity of the individual or other sensitive information, compromise the national interest of the United States. In addition, such individuals may be authorized, notwithstanding section 104 (a), to file such additional reports as are necessary to protect their identity from public disclosure if the President first finds that such filing is necessary in the national interest; or
“(2) an independent counsel or person appointed by independent counsel under chapter 40 of title 28, United States Code, whose identity has not otherwise been disclosed.”
Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 101–280, § 3(6)(B)(i)(I), substituted “, each supervising ethics office in the executive or judicial branch, the Clerk of the House of Representatives, and the Secretary of the Senate” for “and each supervising ethics office”.
Pub. L. 101–280, § 3(6)(B)(i)(II), substituted “under this title by such agency or office or by the Clerk or the Secretary of the Senate, as the case may be,” for “by such agency or office under this title”.
Pub. L. 101–280, § 3(6)(B)(ii), substituted “, office, Clerk, or Secretary of the Senate, as the case may be” for “or office”.
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 101–280, § 3(6)(C), inserted “or to the Clerk of the House of Representatives or the Secretary of the Senate” after “ethics office” and “or by the Clerk or the Secretary of the Senate” after “or office”.
1989—Pub. L. 101–194amended section generally, substituting provisions relating to custody of and public access to reports for provisions relating to review and compliance procedures. See section 106 of this Appendix.
Effective Date of 2004 Amendment

For Determination by President that amendment by Pub. L. 108–458take effect on Apr. 21, 2005, see Memorandum of President of the United States, Apr. 21, 2005, 70 F.R. 23925, set out as a note under section 3001 of Title 50, War and National Defense.
Amendment by Pub. L. 108–458effective not later than six months after Dec. 17, 2004, except as otherwise expressly provided, see section 1097(a) ofPub. L. 108–458, set out as an Effective Date of 2004 Amendment; Transition Provisions note under section 3001 of Title 50, War and National Defense.
Effective Date of 1996 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 104–201effective Oct. 1, 1996, see section 1124 ofPub. L. 104–201, set out as a note under section 193 of Title 10, Armed Forces.
Effective Date of 1989 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 101–194effective Jan. 1, 1991, see section 204 ofPub. L. 101–194, set out as a note under section 101 of this Appendix.
Transfer of Functions

Certain functions of Clerk of House of Representatives transferred to Director of Non-legislative and Financial Services by section 7 of House Resolution No. 423, One Hundred Second Congress, Apr. 9, 1992. Director of Non-legislative and Financial Services replaced by Chief Administrative Officer of House of Representatives by House Resolution No. 6, One Hundred Fourth Congress, Jan. 4, 1995.
Public, Online Disclosure of Financial Disclosure Forms

Pub. L. 113–7, § 1(a)(1), (2),Apr. 15, 2013, 127 Stat. 438, provided that:
“(1) In general.—Except with respect to financial disclosure forms filed by officers and employees referred to in paragraph (2), section 8 (a) andsection 11(a) of the STOCK Act [Pub. L. 112–105] (5 App. U.S.C. 105 note[s]) [set out below] shall not be effective.
“(2) Exempted officers and employees.—The officer and employees referred to in paragraph (1) are the following:
“(A) The President.
“(B) The Vice President.
“(C) Any Member of Congress.
“(D) Any candidate for Congress.
“(E) Any officer occupying a position listed in section 5312 orsection 5313 of title 5, United States Code, having been nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate to that position.”
Changed Effective Date for Financial Disclosure Forms of Certain Officers and Employees

Pub. L. 112–178, § 1,Sept. 28, 2012, 126 Stat. 1408, as amended by Pub. L. 112–207, § 1,Dec. 7, 2012, 126 Stat. 1495, which provided that, except with respect to financial disclosure forms filed by certain officers and employees, sections 8(a)(1) and 11(a)(1) ofPub. L. 112–105(set out below) were effective Apr. 15, 2013, was repealed by Pub. L. 113–7, § 1(a)(3),Apr. 15, 2013, 127 Stat. 438.
Public Filing and Disclosure of Financial Disclosure Forms of Members of Congress and Congressional Staff

Pub. L. 112–105, § 8(a), (b),Apr. 4, 2012, 126 Stat. 295, as amended by Pub. L. 112–173, § 1(1),Aug. 16, 2012, 126 Stat. 1310; Pub. L. 113–7, § 1(b)(1),Apr. 15, 2013, 127 Stat. 438, provided that:
“(a) Public, Online Disclosure of Financial Disclosure Forms of Members of Congress and Congressional Staff.—
“(1) In general.—Not later than September 30, 2012, or 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act [Apr. 4, 2012], whichever is later, the Secretary of the Senate and the Sergeant at Arms of the Senate, and the Clerk of the House of Representatives, shall ensure that financial disclosure forms filed by Members of Congress, candidates for Congress, and employees of Congress in calendar year 2012 and in subsequent years pursuant to title I of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 [section 101 et seq. of Pub. L. 95–521, set out in this Appendix] are made available to the public on the respective official websites of the Senate and the House of Representatives not later than 30 days after such forms are filed.
“(2) Extensions.—Notices of extension for financial disclosure shall be made available electronically under this subsection along with its related disclosure.
“(3) Reporting transactions.—In the case of a transaction disclosure required by section 103(l) of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 [section 103(l) ofPub. L. 95–521, set out in this Appendix], as added by this Act, such disclosure shall be filed not later than the date required by that section. Notices of extension for transaction disclosure shall be made available electronically under this subsection along with its related disclosure.
“(4) Expiration.—The requirements of this subsection shall expire upon implementation of the public disclosure system established under subsection (b).
“(b) Electronic Filing and Online Public Availability of Financial Disclosure Forms of Members of Congress.—
“(1) In general.—Subject to paragraph (6) and not later than January 1, 2014, the Secretary of the Senate and the Sergeant at Arms of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives shall develop systems to enable—
“(A) electronic filing of reports received by them pursuant to section 103(h)(1)(A) of title I of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 [section 103(h)(1)(A) ofPub. L. 95–521, set out in this Appendix]; and
“(B) public access to—
“(i) financial disclosure reports filed by Members of Congress and candidates for Congress,
“(ii) reports filed by Members of Congress and candidates for Congress of a transaction disclosure required by section 103(l) of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 [section 103(l) ofPub. L. 95–521, set out in this Appendix], and
“(iii) notices of extensions, amendments, and blind trusts, with respect to financial disclosure reports described in clauses (i) and (ii),
  pursuant to title I of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (5 App. U.S.C. 101 et seq.), through databases that are maintained on the official websites of the House of Representatives and the Senate.
“(2) Login.—For purposes of filings under paragraph (1)(B), section 105(b)(2) of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 [section 105(b)(2) ofPub. L. 95–521, set out in this Appendix] does not apply.
“(3) Public availability.—Pursuant to section 105(b)(1) of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, electronic availability on the official websites of the Senate and the House of Representatives under paragraph (1)(B) shall be deemed to have met the public availability requirement.
“(4) Filers covered.—Individuals required under the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 [Pub. L. 95–521, set out in this Appendix] or the Senate Rules to file financial disclosure reports with the Secretary of the Senate or the Clerk of the House of Representatives shall be able to file reports electronically using the systems developed by the Secretary of the Senate, the Sergeant at Arms of the Senate, and the Clerk of the House of Representatives.
“(5) Extensions.—Notices of extension for financial disclosure shall be made available electronically under paragraph (1)(B) along with its related disclosure.
“(6) Additional time.—The requirements of this subsection may be implemented after the date provided in paragraph (1) if the Secretary of the Senate or the Clerk of the House of Representatives identifies in writing to relevant congressional committees the additional time needed for such implementation.”
Executive Branch Reporting

Pub. L. 112–105, § 11,Apr. 4, 2012, 126 Stat. 298, as amended by Pub. L. 112–173, § 1(2),Aug. 16, 2012, 126 Stat. 1310; Pub. L. 113–7, § 1(b)(2),Apr. 15, 2013, 127 Stat. 439, provided that:
“(a) Executive Branch Reporting.—
“(1) In general.—Not later than September 30, 2012, or 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act [Apr. 4, 2012], whichever is later, the President shall ensure that financial disclosure forms filed pursuant to title I of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (5 App. U.S.C. 101 et seq.), in calendar year 2012 and in subsequent years, by executive branch employees specified in section 101 of that Act are made available to the public on the official websites of the respective executive branch agencies not later than 30 days after such forms are filed.
“(2) Extensions.—Notices of extension for financial disclosure shall be made available electronically along with the related disclosure.
“(3) Reporting transactions.—In the case of a transaction disclosure required by section 103(l) of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 [section 103(l) ofPub. L. 95–521, set out in this Appendix], as added by this Act, such disclosure shall be filed not later than the date required by that section. Notices of extension for transaction disclosure shall be made available electronically under this subsection along with its related disclosure.
“(4) Expiration.—The requirements of this subsection shall expire upon implementation of the public disclosure system established under subsection (b).
“(b) Electronic Filing and Online Public Availability of Financial Disclosure Forms of Certain Executive Branch Officials.—
“(1) In general.—Subject to paragraph (6), and not later than January 1, 2014, the President, acting through the Director of the Office of Government Ethics, shall develop systems to enable—
“(A) electronic filing of reports required by section 103 of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (5 App. U.S.C. 103), other than subsection (h) of such section; and
“(B) public access to—
“(i) financial disclosure reports filed by the President, the Vice President, and any officer occupying a position listed in section 5312 orsection 5313 of title 5, United States Code, having been nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate to that position,
“(ii) reports filed by any individual described in clause (i) of a transaction disclosure required by section 103(l) of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 [section 103(l) ofPub. L. 95–521, set out in this Appendix], and
“(iii) notices of extensions, amendments, and blind trusts, with respect to financial disclosure reports described in clauses (i) and (ii),
  pursuant to title I of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (5 App. U.S.C. 101 et seq.), through databases that are maintained on the official website of the Office of Government Ethics.
“(2) Login.—For purposes of filings under paragraph (1)(B), section 105(b)(2) of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (5 App. U.S.C. 105 (b)(2)) does not apply.
“(3) Public availability.—Pursuant to section 105(b)(1) of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (5 App. U.S.C. 105 (b)(1)), electronic availability on the official website of the Office of Government Ethics under paragraph (1)(B) shall be deemed to have met the public availability requirement.
“(4) Filers covered.—Executive branch employees required under title I of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 to file financial disclosure reports shall be able to file the reports electronically with their supervising ethics office.
“(5) Extensions.—Notices of extension for financial disclosure shall be made available electronically under paragraph (1)(B) along with its related disclosure.
“(6) Additional time.—The requirements of this subsection may be implemented after the date provided in paragraph (1) if the Director of the Office of Government Ethics, after consultation with the Clerk of the House of Representatives and Secretary of the Senate, identifies in writing to relevant congressional committees the additional time needed for such implementation.”
Public Availability of Reports Filed Under Pre-1991 Ethics in Government Act Provisions

Pub. L. 101–280, § 9,May 4, 1990, 104 Stat. 162, provided that: “Those reports filed under title I [formerly classified to section 701 et seq. of Title 2, The Congress], II [formerly set out under the heading Executive Personnel Financial Disclosure Requirements in this Appendix], or III [formerly set out under the heading Judicial Personnel Financial Disclosure Requirements in the Appendix to Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure] of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 [Pub. L. 95–521], as in effect before January 1, 1991, shall be made available to the public on or after such date in accordance with section 105 of that Act [this section], as amended by the Ethics Reform Act of 1989 [Pub. L. 101–194], and the provisions of such section shall apply with respect to those reports.”

 

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