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Highlights

This report responds to a statement in the Conference Report on the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) fiscal year 2004 appropriations directing GAO to study SEC's allocation of its increased funding for fiscal years 2003 and 2004. Historically, SEC has faced high staff turnover rates, long stretches of unfilled staff positions, and growing resource needs. Additionally, the agency has faced significant needs in its information technology area. In response to these trends and several high-profile corporate failures and financial scandals, Congress approved significant increases in SEC's appropriations to help improve oversight and increase public confidence in financial markets. This report builds on several reports GAO has issued on these issues. GAO was asked to review SEC's (1) allocation of its fiscal year 2003 and 2004 funds and (2) use of its information technology funding in fiscal year 2003 and its plan for 2004.

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