The Impact of Financial Disclosure on Spouses

This monograph includes the findings of a 1985 survey of current and former members of Congress and their spouses regarding the Ethics in Government Act of 1978. Framers of the Act, in requiring financial disclosures by the families of members, attempted to maintain sensitivity to a spouse's need for privacy or a separate career. Their intent was to create a system that would permit disclosure of relevant finances, yet one that would allow some personal privacy. It examines what members and their spouses believe their rights and responsibilities under the Act are, what they think about financial disclosure in general, and what, if anything, can be done to improve the current system.