Chairman Gary Gensler Wednesday told the Technology Advisory Committee of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission "we must improve our ability to employ modern technology to automate our surveillance" of markets."

Gensler told the committee, which was meeting for the first time since its charter was renewed earlier this year, that it must automate its surveillance of trading -- because market actions have moved from " open outcry trading to predominantly electronic trading platforms."

Roughly 90% of activity is now electronic, he said.

"Though we are fortunate to receive daily trade data and position data electronically, there is much we can learn and great deal more we can do regarding technology,'' he said. The commission is considering putting out rules, he said, to automate information received from market participants. This information currently comes in on paper forms, known as Form 40 and Form 102.

He said the advisory committee also will need to help the commodities futures industry figure out "technology aspects of the rule-writing process and of the marketplace itself'' that will result from passage of financial reform in Congress.

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