OIG Report Highlights SEC Staffing Shortages and Resulting Challenges for Examination and Enforcement Efforts

The SEC is dealing with the effects of a prolonged hiring freeze and staff attrition, while being asked to oversee a growing and ever-more-complex securities market, according to the SEC’s Office of Inspector General (OIG). In its annual report, the OIG discussed challenges faced by the SEC in four key areas: meeting its regulatory oversight responsibilities; protecting systems and data; improving contract management; and ensuring effective human capital management. This article explores the report’s relevant findings and includes commentary from attorneys on the practical effect of the report’s findings on the SEC’s enforcement and examination efforts. For examples of recent SEC enforcement actions, see “Recent Case Illustrates How Not to Respond When SEC Examiners Voice Concerns” (Feb. 6, 2020); and “Fund Managers May Be Liable for Incorrect Fee Calculations, Regardless of Intent” (Jan. 30, 2020).

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