Calling the need for more money "critical to the agency as it continues its reform efforts," Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman William Donaldson asked the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday for $913 million for fiscal year 2005, the most the Commission has ever asked for.

"I am committed to ensuring that these resources are utilized efficiently, and in a manner that will help the SEC address the most fundamental and immediate problems facing corporate America, the securities industry and our financial markets," Donaldson said.

Amid the scandals that have rocked the financial industry, Donaldson made reference to several compliance issues that tie in with the Commission’s need for funds. He said the Commission, which has hired 740 new people since 2002, must still fill vacancies. An ambitious new technology system and headquarters in Washington, would also have to be paid for, Donaldson said.

The chairman also spoke of the mutual fund scandal and of ways to control the booming hedge fund industry, saying, "As we continue to uncover and address revelations of wrongdoing that have shaken investor confidence – including the recent mutual fund scandals – the fiscal year 2005 resources we are requesting will be critical to responding to these challenges," the SEC Chairman said.

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