President Bush’s 2007 proposed budget increases funding for the Securities and Exchange Commission only 3%, to $905.3 million compared to $904.8 million in 2006, according to the Associated Press.

Last year, Congress cut that request down to $877.1 million.

SEC Executive Director Diego Ruiz described the proposed budget as “sufficient for the SEC to do its job well,” although it included no suggestions of new plans or initiatives.

The budget calls for $130 million to be applied to information technology, an increase of about 10% over last year’s $118 technology allocation.  SEC Chairman Christopher Cox, himself a former Congressman from California, has aggressively encouraged leveraging the Internet in SEC filings, most notable with the roll-out of extensible business reporting language, or XBRL. Mutual funds were tapped as XBRL pioneers because of the wide number of investors who rely on these funds for retirement. The program applies uniform tags, or codes, to various pieces of information, making it easier for investors to compare funds.

As proposed, the budget calls for $321.2 million for investigations and enforcement action, compared to the $310.1 request from the agency. The SEC expects to open 925 investigations in 2007, compared to 960 in 2006.

One major area of investigation likely to continue is the backdating of stock options. 

Another $45.1 million is aimed at addressing mutual fund and hedge fund oversight, highlighting the agency’s focus on fund disclosures. The SEC requested $53.5 million.

Besides the federal budget, SEC operations are funded with the fees the agency charges companies for registration and other administrative operations.

The staff of Money Management Executive ("MME") has prepared these capsule summaries based on reports published by the news sources to which they are attributed. Those news sources are not associated with MME, and have not prepared, sponsored, endorsed, or approved these summaries.

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