Impartiality of SEC Report by Boston Consulting Group Questioned by Key House Republicans

Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas), who is the Financial Services Oversight Subcommittee chairman, and Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), the House Financial Services Committee chairman, have sent a letter to US Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro asking her about Boston Consulting Group Inc.’s recent report on the recent report on SEC reform. Even though BCG is an independent consultant, the two GOP members are questioning the report’s impartiality.

In their letter, they asked Schapiro to disclose what (if any) editorial input the SEC provided on the content of the BCG report. They also want to see any earlier drafts that BCG may have sent the SEC Chairman. Neugebauer and Bachus said that given the regulatory failures from the 2008 economic collapse, it was important that BCG was allowed compete independence to do its job and that the report did not undergo any editorial deletions, review, or insertions by the SEC.

Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act’s Section 967 had directed the SEC to retain the services of an independent consultant to analyze the agency’s structure and operation, as well as suggest reforms. BCG issued its report on March 10. Among its recommendations: for the SEC:

• Hire staff with “high-priority” skills
• Invest in key technology systems,
• Improve oversight over SROs (self-regulatory organizations)
• If Congress determines that the SEC cannot fulfill expectations by further optimizing its resources, the lawmaking body should “relax” funding constraints

BCG has said that it stands by the report’s “integrity and independence.” Meantime, Schapiro has said that the report confirms her own worries that the SEC lacks the resources to do all that it is expected to accomplish.

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Related Web Resources:
Integrity of report on SEC questioned, Washington Post, March 18, 2011

Statement From Chairman Schapiro on Independent Consultant Report of SEC Organization and Operations, SEC, March 10, 2011

Read the BCG Report (PDF)

SEC Needs to Keep a Closer Eye on FINRA, Says Report, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, March 15, 2011

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