SEC Operations: Oversight of Mutual Fund Industry Presents Management Challenges

GAO-04-584T Published: Apr 20, 2004. Publicly Released: Apr 20, 2004.
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Having grown to over $7.5 trillion in assets, mutual funds have become vital components of the financial security of more than 95 million American investors. However, in 2003, various allegations of misconduct and abusive practices involving mutual funds came to light. Therefore, ensuring that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which has primary oversight of the mutual fund industry, has the necessary resources and strategic focus to adequately oversee fund practices has never been more important. To assess how SEC is positioned to oversee mutual funds, GAO reviewed (1) how the abusive mutual fund practices were identified and SEC's subsequent responses, (2) SEC's plans for increasing its staffing in the divisions and offices responsible for overseeing mutual funds and its progress in developing a new strategic plan to guide staff deployment, and (3) the challenges SEC faces in overseeing the mutual fund industry.

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