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Established in 1934 to enforce the securities laws and protect investors, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) plays an important role in maintaining the integrity of the U.S. securities markets. Pursuant to the Accountability of Tax Dollars Act of 2002, SEC is required to prepare and submit to Congress and the Office of Management and Budget audited financial statements. GAO agreed, under its audit authority, to perform the audit of SEC's financial statements to determine whether (1) the financial statements are fairly stated, and (2) SEC management maintained effective internal control. GAO also tested SEC's compliance with selected provisions of significant laws and regulations.

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