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SEC Imposes Fine on Siebel, Cease-and-Desist on 2 Companies

THE WASHINGTON POST -- WASHINGTON

The Securities and Exchange Commission fined Siebel Corp. $250,000 and imposed cease-and-desist orders on two other companies Monday in the agency’s first enforcement actions under a rule requiring that companies disclose key information to all investors, not just a few.

SEC officials said the fine against Siebel -- and the cease-and-desist orders to Secure Computing Corp. and its chief executive, John McNulty, and to Raytheon Co. and its chief financial officer, Franklyn Caine -- underscore the agency’s seriousness about upholding what is known as Regulation Full Disclosure, or Reg. FD for short. The rule, which was decried by many publicly traded companies when adopted in October 2000, says that if a public company is going to disclose important, non-public information it must do so publicly rather than selectively.

The goal was to put all investors on equal footing rather than letting investment bankers or large, institutional shareholders trade on valuable information ahead of others.

Judge Orders Archdiocese To Hand Over Sensitive Records

LOS ANGELES TIMES -- BOSTON

In a pointed rebuke to Catholic Church officials here, a judge on Monday ordered the Boston archdiocese to release 11,000 previously classified documents pertaining to 65 priests charged with molesting children over a 30-year period.

A separate ruling Monday by Judge Constance Sweeney requires the archdiocese to turn over psychiatric records of a priest linked to the case of retired priest Paul Shanley, whose trial on multiple counts of child rape is set to begin early next year.

Roderick MacLeish Jr., a lawyer for dozens of alleged clerical-abuse victims here, hailed the decisions as “a huge victory for us, the most significant rulings that have been handed down in any church abuse case in Massachusetts in terms of potential liability for the archdiocese and for Cardinal Bernard Law.”

Yielding to an earlier court order, the archdiocese delivered the documents late Friday to lawyers for the alleged victims. A request from church lawyers that the documents be sealed from public view until at least January brought sharp criticism from Sweeney.

Capitol’s Emergency Plans Flawed

THE WASHINGTON POST -- WASHINGTON

Lax emergency planning threatens the safety of more than 30,000 lawmakers and employees who work in the U.S. Capitol complex and of the national treasures stored at the Library of Congress, according to a congressional report released Monday.

The Office of Compliance, Congress’s health and safety arm, concluded that although significant progress had been made over a two-year period before and after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, further improvements are needed in plans for responding to chemical and biological threats and in fire safety, alarm systems and emergency communications.

The biennial report to Congress includes a 31-page summary of safety and health hazards identified by inspectors. The report is required by the Congressional Accountability Act, enacted in 1995 to bring the legislative branch under national workplace safety laws.

The report says U.S. Capitol Police lacked an emergency response plan suitable to last year’s anthrax crisis, potentially endangering officers, and that the Library of Congress Police failed to evacuate the library’s main building during an April fire. It also says workers had complained that fire alarms are inaudible in parts of the complex.