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Leaks at Commerce Dept. Lead to Firing and Reprimands

August 22, 1986|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Commerce Department said Thursday that an investigation into leaks of sensitive economic data has resulted in the firing of one employee, the resignation of another and letters of reprimand against three other workers.

Commerce Secretary Malcolm Baldrige had originally announced in July that three employees would be fired for improperly releasing the financial data.

However, officials said Thursday that after further investigation it was decided that one of those accused should receive only a written reprimand.

In July, Baldrige said he was firing two employees who had made financial gains from the government data, while the third individual had passed inside information to another person.

The disciplinary action followed an investigation by the department's inspector general into allegations of the premature release last September of figures on the gross national product, the measure of total economic growth.

The disclosure of the disciplinary actions came as the Commerce Department confirmed it is investigating allegations that the GNP figure released Tuesday also had been leaked.

Officials said they had heard from financial market sources in New York and London that the sharp downward revision in the GNP growth rate, which went from 1.1% to 0.6% for the second quarter, had been known as early as Monday afternoon.

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