The SEC should move more quickly to close enforcement division investigations it is no longer pursuing, according to a report issued today by the Government Accountability Office. According to the report, an unidentified SEC representative told GAO auditors that almost 300, or 35%, of the 840 open investigations at one SEC regional office were two or more years old and no longer being pursued. The investigations arent closed more rapidly because the process is time-consuming, according to the SEC officials who talked to GAO representatives for the report.
In a letter attached to the report, Linda Chatman Thomsen, director of the SECs enforcement division, said the division will try to improve its record.
We agree that promptly closing investigations that are not actively being pursued can improve the management of the division and ensure the fair treatment of individuals and companies under its review, said Ms. Thomsen in a July 24 letter to GAO. Thus, Enforcement (Division) plans to actively review these aged pending investigations to determine which should be closed and to review our closing process to determine how it can be streamlined.