Administrative Law Judges:

Comparison of SEC and CFTC Programs

GGD-96-27: Published: Nov 14, 1995. Publicly Released: Nov 14, 1995.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO compared various aspects of the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's (CFTC) administrative law judge (ALJ) programs.

GAO found that: (1) ALJ programs at SEC and CFTC are similar in function, size, case-processing time, and results of appeals for enforcement cases; (2) SEC ALJ do not have the same authority as CFTC ALJ in hearing reparations cases; (3) the average processing time for initial decisions concerning enforcement cases is 9 months longer at CFTC than at SEC and 4 months longer at SEC for appeal decisions; (4) a SEC task force has proposed changes to SEC procedures in order to cut processing time for ALJ cases; and (5) SEC has reduced the sanctions imposed in 70 percent of its cases and CFTC has reduced sanctions imposed in 80 percent of its cases.

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