Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton presented the SEC fiscal year 2018 budget request on June 27, 2017. Overall, the agency requested $1.602 billion for the fiscal year, an amount essentially unchanged from the year before.
The chairman noted the amount is needed for the SEC to:
- Protect investors. Enforcement is a key area of focus, with 50% of requested resources earmarked for SEC enforcement and examination efforts. The SEC has noted some funding will be used to ensure more examinations and to launch more robust legal actions against those who defraud investors.
- Improve technology. The SEC plans to improve surveillance and examination programs, cybersecurity efforts, data analytics technology, algorithms for enforcement programs, the EDGAR electronic filing system, automation tools and other technology.
- Encourage capital formation. The newly-named Director of the Division of Corporation Finance, Bill Hinman, will be working on encouraging capital formation for new and small businesses and on addressing the smaller number of companies choosing public capital markets.
- Make the SEC efficient. The SEC plans to use automation, improved internal processes and effective data use to make internal operations more efficient.
- Lease the SEC headquarters. The location in Washington, DC has a lease expiring soon and $245 million is designated for this purpose.
The chairman also took time in his presentation to praise the some 4,600 staff at the SEC, who compile disclosures of 8,000 public businesses and oversee securities trading of about $75 trillion each year.
The chairman noted that companies pay an SEC fee when they register securities for sale. For the upcoming fiscal year, fees will be scaled to raise $620 million, $50 million of which will go towards the Reserve Fund information technology improvements and $570 million of which is earmarked for the U.S. Treasury general fund.
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