Here Comes the STOCK Act

The STOCK (Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge) Act was signed into law on April 4, 2012 and many of its key provisions are now starting to take effect.  Most recently, a provision requiring federal personal financial disclosure report filers to make so called periodic reports of transactions went into effect on July 3rd.  In short, the periodic reporting requirement:

"applies to all transactions that are otherwise reportable on a financial disclosure report (purchases, sales, and exchanges greater than $1,000) other than widely held investment funds (such as broadly diversified mutual funds, pensions and other publicly traded diversified funds, and funds with widely diversified assets not under an employee’s control). Transactions reported during the course of the year do not need to be listed on the filer’s annual report."  (More from this very nice Commerce Department summary here.)

Of note: The fact that "transactions reported during the course of the year do not need to be listed on the filer's annual report," will dictate a new approach to gathering disclosure forms (i.e., get the annual filing and all periodic filings.)

Also of import to researchers is that beginning August 30, 2012 agencies will be required to publicly post disclosure filings with an eventual requirement that all posted filings be accessible in a searchable database. (For the reaction to this requirement from some high-level government scientists whose filings will be readily accessible for the first time, see this piece in The Washington Post.)

See the new Congressional and Executive Branch periodic transaction reports here and here, respectively.