SEC Seeks 5% Funding Increase for OCIE
In its FY 2019 budget reques
t, the Securities and Exchange Commission is seeking a slight increase in funding for inspections and examinations.
The SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE), whose mission is to protect investors, ensure market integrity, improve compliance, prevent fraud, monitor risk and inform regulatory policy, was allocated $347,273 for fiscal year (FY) 2017; the SEC is requesting $365,781 for FY 2019, $18,508 more.
In releasing its proposed FY 2019 budget on Feb. 12, the SEC says it needs the funds “are critically needed” to help it continue its efforts to protect those saving for retirement. “OCIE will dedicate resources toward examining practices that represent risks to retail and retirement investors,” the SEC says in its budget request. It calls investment companies “a crucial link” between U.S. households seeking an investment return on what they set aside for education or retirement, and U.S. corporations, non-profits and governments at all levels seeking capital from the securities markets to fund projects that provide goods, services and economic growth. This takes on heightened importance, it says, “since investors are more dependent than ever on their own investments during retirement.”
The SEC’s total 2019 budget request of $1.602 billion is 3.5% higher than its 2018 request. The 2019 budget includes a $45 million increase in funding for information technology enhancements to support the agency’s cybersecurity capabilities, risk and data analysis, enforcement and examinations, and automation of business processes.
The SEC’s request also asks for $52 million that would allow it to add 100 more employees, including 13 new examiners in the OCIE who would conduct examinations of investment advisers and investment companies.