Although the Securities and Exchange Commission revealed the findings of two cost/benefit studies it commissioned on the proposed independent directors rule late last year, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce sought access to the complete report, including any records supporting the decision to undertake the studies. The SEC decided not to share the information with the U.S. Chamber, a decision it is now appealing.

An SEC staff member issued a letter to the U.S. Chamber saying the records "are protected from disclosure by the deliberative process privilege. This privilege was designed to encourage open, frank discussion on matters of policy between subordinates and superiors."

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