The Securities and Exchange Commission is asleep at the switch overseeing the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, said the investigative arm of Congress, the General Accountability Office, on Thursday.

In a follow-up to a 2012 report, GAO said the SEC has failed to implement several recommendations it made then to improve Finra oversight.

Among the actions GAO said the SEC ignored was to develop goals for Finra and ways to monitor the standards.

GAO also said the SEC failed to heed its request to target Finra for oversight and to look for competing priorities within the privately operated regulator.

The Congressional overview characterizes Finra oversight as critical to the SEC’s missions of protection; maintaining fair, orderly and efficient markets; and facilitating capital formation.

The SEC countered GAO’s overall criticism in a letter by Andrew “Drew” Bowden, the head of the agency’s unit most responsible for reviewing Finra, the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations.

Bowden praised SEC oversight as “robust.” The report was issued on Bowden’s last day on the job.

While generally criticizing the SEC in its handling of Finra, the GAO acknowledged the agency has hired an attorney to coordinate Finra monitoring and is using risk as the criteria for reviews of local offices rather than utilizing regular, periodic exams.

Finra Chairman and CEO Richard Ketchum is certain to be asked about the report in a House Financial Services Committee hearing Friday morning on Finra oversight.

The GAO study was mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act.

FINRA spokesman Nancy Condon said the agency had not had the time to review the study.