There is a good chance the Securities and Exchange Commission will vote by March on a proposal for third-party exams for investment advisors, Investment Adviser Association lobbyist Neil Simon said Tuesday.

Third-party examiners would not have enforcement, governance and rulemaking authority, Simon said. He predicted third-party exams would be more limited in scope compared with those by SEC staff. He added examiners would be paid by the firms they review.

Simon said SEC Chair Mary Jo White has asked her staff to consider the possibility of outside exams and has been pressured to undertake the effort by Republican House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling.

He said third-party exams could be part of the answer to increasing the frequency of advisor reviews to more often than once every 11 years, the average at present.

While SEC leaders for years have cited a lack of money as the reason for infrequent advisor reviews, Simon contended the SEC has kept examiner staff levels stagnant for years, despite overall budget increases for the agency. “It’s not sexy, like busting a scam artist,” he said.

His comments came during a TD Ameritrade forum in Washington, D.C.

Former IAA president and CEO David Tittsworth told the gathering that he had held discussions within his organization on whether investment advisors should be reviewed by a  self-regulatory organization, but it was decided the move would be too expensive.

He said an industry regulating itself is weird, adding that “Finra has been a failure.”

Also at the event, former SEC Chair Mary Schapiro said the SEC should impose a fiduciary duty on broker-dealers now. “I feel very strongly about it,” she said.

During the session, she said the lack of a crisis is contributing to the increased political partisanship at the agency.