Along with the funding provided for 100 additional positions in FY 2019, the FY 2020 request will enable the SEC to fill approximately one-third of the approximately 400 positions lost due to the hiring freeze, the IG said.

The SEC Office of the Investor Advocate also reported that, because of the hiring freeze, efforts to devote additional resources to the organization’s Ombudsman and research functions were hindered, which delayed the ability to build out these programs.  Notably, in FY 2018, the Ombudsman—who, among other things, acts as a liaison in resolving problems that retail investors may have with the Commission or with self-regulatory organizations—received 449 new matters, which represented a 99-percent increase over the previous fiscal year.

In total, the SEC oversees more than 26,000 registered market participants, 22 national securities exchanges, 10 credit rating agencies, and 7 active registered clearing agencies, as well as the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, and the Financial Accounting Standards Board.  In addition, the SEC is responsible for selectively reviewing the disclosures and financial statements of almost 4,300 exchange-listed public companies.  

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