WASHINGTON – The Securities and Exchange Commission has ordered a new surveillance program for the mutual fund industry to halt future improprieties, Chairman William Donaldson said Friday.

In a speech to the Practising Law Institute at the annual "SEC Speaks" conference here, Donaldson said he has created a new oversight task force dedicated to drafting an outline for a new fund-monitoring program. It would include both the monitoring of disclosures by fund companies and the analysis of new technologies that could be used to curtail abuses in the industry.

Donaldson also touched on the monitoring of hedge funds, an industry the SEC has begun to mull over in more detail the past few months. He said the Commission is currently looking at requiring hedge fund advisers to register, given their exposure to the mutual fund scandal.

"Our view of the mutual fund scandal alone shows all too often hedge funds had an active part," Donaldson said. "We have already seen the Commission’s focus on hedge funds has caused many hedge fund managers to pay more attention to their accounting and how they price securities."

Despite enduring withering criticism for being behind the eight ball in uncovering the scandal, Donaldson thinks the SEC is moving in the right direction.

"Much work still lies ahead, but I am confident that the progress we have seen recently will endure, and that we will continue to see greater responsibility and more realism from American business leaders," he said.

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