From National Law Review:
The District Court for the District of Columbia has held that the Securities and Exchange Commission is exempt from producing documents relating to its audit, inspections, and review of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
An association of attorneys representing public investors in securities arbitrations requested that the SEC produce documents related to its oversight of FINRA’s Dispute Resolution branch and examination of its administrative function. Specifically, the association sought documents concerning FINRA’s arbitrator selection process. The associations believed the arbitration selection process should be more transparent and fair. The SEC claimed Exemption 8 of FOIA did not require the SEC to produce responsive materials. The exemption protects documents “related to examination, operating, or condition reports prepared by, on behalf of, or for the use of an agency responsible for the regulation or supervision of financial institutions.”