More on the GAO report on the SEC…

May 7, 2009

Here at footnoted, we’re used to doing our own stuff, whether it’s writing some simple code or making some copies. But then again, we don’t have a plush office like the folks at the SEC do. When we were last there a few years ago, we remember being particularly impressed by these very fancy (and expensive-looking) wood doors that looked like they were made of Australian lacewood or some other exotic wood.

So you could imagine our surprise after reading the GAO report released yesterday (the summary is here) that SEC attorneys were actually doing most of their own copying, and often had to search the building for working copy machines. TPM Muckraker has a good account of some of these administrative snafus.

What we also found interesting about the report was that while most of the stories we read focused on former Chairman Chris Cox’s failings, Cox was only mentioned once by name in the report. And Bernie Madoff, who has become the other poster-child for the SEC’s, um, lack of attention to detail, was mentioned just twice in the 64-page report.

At 2:30 today, newly named Enforcement Director Robert Khuzami will appear before a Senate hearing to talk about the GAO report. I’ve seen a preview of his prepared testimony and it touches on most of the major points. It also suggests some legislative solutions to improving the way the SEC handles certain things. The testimony is embargoes until 2:30, so I’m not able to provide more details quite yet.

We’ll be listening in on the hearing later this afternoon and posting interesting updates – most likely via Twitter.

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