The Securities and Exchange Commission will be rolling out a national initiative this year that will scrutinize government retirement-plan advisors, said Peter Driscoll, chief of the SEC exam unit Office of Risk and Strategy.

“Read the newspapers. There is a lot of interest in government corruption,” said Driscoll, who spoke Friday at the Investment Adviser Association’s annual compliance conference in Washington, D.C.

In the initiative, he said examiners will be looking at entertainment, fancy trips with public pension-fund board members and whether firms doing business in this area have effective compliance policies and procedures.

Driscoll noted public pension funds have $3.7 trillion in assets with 19 million current and future beneficiaries, including police officers and firefighters.

Also, SEC examiners who come across potential violations of current Department of Labor rules by investment advisors are referring those cases to the DOL, which is also referring any potential SEC violations it sees back to the agency, Driscoll said.

The referrals between the agencies are done at a regional level and are not part of a national plan, explained Driscoll, who also heads the new section of the SEC’s Office of Compliance, Inspections and Examinations.

On cybersecurity, he said examiners are not cyber experts or IT auditors. Calling cybersecurity a learning process for the SEC, the OCIE Office of Risk and Strategy leader said down the road cyber issues will be included as routine parts of advisor exams.

Speaking about an OCIE exam initiative focusing on the treatment of retirees and near retirees, Driscoll said examiners will be particularly looking for firms that have high growth in the number of advisors serving this market to see if their compliance operations are expanding as well.

On another note, Driscoll said the biggest challenge for examiners checking into high-frequency traders is the large amount of data, with complicated algorithms taking second place in the challenge.