Perspectives on the Securities and Exchange Commission's Budget

T-GGD-87-16: Published: May 13, 1987. Publicly Released: May 13, 1987.

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GAO discussed the Securities and Exchange Commission's fiscal year (FY) 1988 through FY 1990 authorization request and its related FY 1988 budget request, noting that its FY 1988 budget request of $145 million is the second largest in its history. GAO found that determining an appropriate resource level for the Commission is difficult because: (1) its budget documents do not indicate its long-term oversight goals and program objectives; (2) it shares the responsibility of ensuring fair, orderly, and efficient capital markets with the industry's self-regulatory organizations; and (3) it faces a challenge measuring program accomplishments because of the lack of data on how many violations are occurring in the markets or the deterrent effects of oversight programs. GAO is concerned about both the amount of the Commission's FY 1988 budget request and its staff-year allocation plans. GAO concluded that it has no reason to question the need for an increase in the Commission's resource level for FY 1988 and the years beyond, but that it cannot affirm the appropriateness of the size of the increase or the Commission's proposed allocation plans.

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