The staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission has plans to propose rules that would require that e-mails at investment advisory firms be retained for a specified period of time and be made available in certain formats, according to The Toronto Star. The SEC would also require firms to allow it access to any e-mail communications, including internal communications.

"It's likely that by the end of the year, the staff will recommend to the commission that the commission propose changes," Doug Scheidt, associate director in the SEC's office of investment management, said in an interview on Tuesday. This move, on the part of the SEC, is a reaction to the 2003 mutual fund trading scandals.

However, some investment advisors believe that if a rule like this comes into effect, the SEC will be overstepping its grounds.

"E-mail retention, production and surveillance guidance has not yet been resolved," SEC Commissioner Paul Atkins said in a speech on Tuesday. "We commissioners must ensure that it will be resolved in the near future."

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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