Enzi Urges SEC and U.S. Attorney to Review Dept. of Ed Gainful Employment Rulemaking

Documents Point to Questionable Communications Between DOE and Investors on Gainful Employment Regulations

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Ranking Member on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today wrote to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the U.S. Attorney in New York to urge them to review rulemaking documents on the proposed gainful employment regulations proposed by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE).  Enzi noted that the documents raised a number of questions about the propriety of communications between DOE officials and individuals with a potential financial interest in an ongoing rulemaking, and he believes this warrants further review by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Attorney’s office.  Senator Enzi recently called on Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to release all documents surrounding the rulemaking process of the proposed gainful employment regulations.

“Since issuing the proposed regulation, allegations have been made that DOE officials may have engaged in inappropriate communications with some investors with a financial interest in the outcome of the rulemaking process.  These allegations have been bolstered by DOE documents released in response to several FOIA requests.  In particular, the documents indicate that several investors contacted the DOE and met with officials involved in the development of the proposed rule while the rulemaking process was ongoing.  Additionally, these documents suggest that non-profit groups advocating in support of the DOE’s proposed rule were in regular contact with DOE officials, as well as investors interested in the outcome of the rulemaking,” Senator Enzi wrote. 

“It is imperative that federal regulations are developed through an open and transparent process that is not improperly influenced by those seeking to realize a financial gain from the outcome.  While these documents do not provide conclusive evidence of any wrongdoing, they do raise a number of troubling questions about the involvement of investor groups in the development of a pending regulation.  Therefore, I urge you to review these materials and determine if further action is warranted.”

Copies of the letters are attached.

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Joe Brenckle 202-224-2465

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