Today, Sunlight is sending the following letter (see below) to the Government Accountability Office, or GAO.
We are urging them to review the personal financial disclosure system, that requires top officials throughout the federal government to publicly disclose their assets. A comprehensive GAO review is important to ensuring the effectiveness of our system, is long overdue, and is actually already required by law.
For those unfamiliar, this may seem to be an abstract or wonky subject. But if you’ve news stories about Justice Thomas, or Rep. Rangel (or many, many others) then you’ve heard about the importance of financial disclosure. Our laws requiring our top officials to publicly declare their assets are an essential safeguard against corruption and conflicts of interest, and are a bulwark for accountability in government service.
The GAO should review our financial disclosure system, and help strengthen an essential democratic safeguard.