GAO Reports on SEC Budget
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Tuesday, July 27, 2004

GAO Reports on SEC Budget

The Government Accountability Office's (GAO) recently-issued budgetary report on the SEC confirms that money doesn't buy happiness.
Although the SEC received additional funding for its fiscal year 2003 and 2004 budgets, it seems that the agency is still having problems spending it.
The agency spent much of its 2003 budget increase in creating 842 positions, and allocated money to 644 positions for 2004. The GAO concludes, however, that the SEC is having difficulty filling the positions -- in particular, accounting jobs.

Besides creating jobs, the SEC also spent additional appropriations on information technology -- increasing its IT budget in 2003 from $46.6 million to $100 million, and to $120 million in 2004.

The report noted that the agency reorganized staff in the Office of Chief Counsel from geographic divisions to functional divisions. The staff now works in three covering investment advisers and mutual funds, broker-dealers and markets, and corporate accounting.

The GAO concluded that the "SEC has made significant progress in hiring staff and is continuing its efforts to fill the remaining vacancies" and has taken steps to improve its information technology, but that it could have benefited from creating a strategic plan prior to allocating the funds.

The SEC completed a strategic plan on July 9.

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