The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission didn’t have authority to dispose of investigation documents the agency had been routinely purging since 1993, the National Archives and Records Administration said.
NARA, the Washington-based agency that oversees federal record-keeping, opened an investigation last year after an SEC employee claimed the agency was illegally destroying files pertaining to so-called matters under inquiry, NARA said in a statement yesterday. The SEC, which NARA said has since halted the practice, destroyed the documents without approval, according to the statement. ...
The allegations originated with Darcy Flynn, a 13-year SEC veteran, who claimed that the SEC illegally purged more than 9,000 documents from initial probes that never became formal investigations. Senator Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican, this week asked SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro to respond to Flynn’s claims by the end of this month.
Broc Romanek and Jay Brown both argue for giving the SEC a pass on this "tempest in a tea pot." I wonder if they would be so willing to let it slide if it were a corporation that had been charged with violating the Sarbanes-Oxley rules on document retention?
The SEC repeatedly has proven itself unable to comply with the rules it insists every one live by.
I say they should be held to a higher standard, not a lesser one.