What GAO Found
GAO found (1) the United States Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) and its Investor Protection Fund's (IPF) financial statements are presented fairly, in all material respects, in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles; (2) SEC maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting as of September 30, 2013, although internal control deficiencies exist that merit attention by those charged with governance; and (3) no reportable noncompliance in fiscal year 2013 with provisions of applicable laws, regulations, contracts, and grant agreements GAO tested. In commenting on a draft of this report, SEC's Chair expressed her pleasure that GAO found that SEC had successfully remediated the two significant deficiencies identified in 2012. The Chair added that SEC will focus on the significant deficiency GAO reported in 2013 in the area of information security.
Why GAO Did This Study
The Accountability of Tax Dollars Act of 2002 requires that SEC annually prepare and submit audited financial statements to Congress and the Office of Management and Budget. The Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended in 2010 by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act), requires SEC to annually prepare and submit a complete set of audited financial statements for its IPF to Congress. GAO agreed, under its audit authority, to audit SEC's and IPF's financial statements. Section 963 of the Dodd-Frank Act further requires that (1) SEC annually submit a report to Congress describing management's responsibility for internal control over financial reporting and assessing the effectiveness of such internal control during the fiscal year, (2) the SEC Chairman and Chief Financial Officer attest to SEC's report, and (3) GAO attest to and report on the assessment made by SEC. Accordingly, this report also includes GAO's reporting in response to the requirement under the Dodd-Frank Act.
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