The first stage of an investigation into how the federal government makes fishing rules has found flaws in record-keeping and financial disclosure by fishery managers.

The report by the Inspector General of the U.S. Commerce Department  started the investigation last year after requests from former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank and U.S. Rep. John Tierney. The lawmakers say rule-makers had forgotten their mandate to develop and involve the commercial fishing industry.

Among the review's findings: Financial disclosure by regional managers did little to increase transparency and record-keeping was inconsistent. It recommended regulators strengthen policies on financial disclosure and develop uniform procedures for managing the records that support decisions.

Regulators at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration accepted all the recommendations. The review is being conducted in phases.


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