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Highlights

In recent years, questions have been raised about the capacity of the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) Division of Enforcement (Enforcement) to manage its resources and fulfill its law enforcement and investor protection responsibilities. This testimony focuses on (1) the extent to which Enforcement has an appropriate mix of resources; (2) considerations affecting penalty determinations, and recent trends in penalties and disgorgements ordered; and (3) the adoption, implementation, and effects of recent penalty policies. The testimony is based on the GAO report, Securities and Exchange Commission: Greater Attention Needed to Enhance Communication and Utilization of Resources in the Division of Enforcement (GAO-09-358, March 31, 2009). For this work, GAO analyzed information on resources, enforcement actions, and penalties; and interviewed current and former SEC officials and staff, and others.

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