SEC Chairman Mary Jo White testified for the first time in front of Congress yesterday. In her testimony to the Senate Appropriations Committee, Chairman White asked Congress for a larger SEC budget, citing increased demands on the agency, including writing Dodd-Frank rules and new oversight responsibilities regarding hedge funds and derivatives. She also argued that the SEC needs more resources to devote to its adviser examination program. In the 2012 fiscal year, the SEC inspected only about 8% of registered investment advisers.
Chairman White also said she would review the agency’s policy of allowing parties to settle civil charges without admitting or denying them. However, she also argued the merits of the policy, stating that it leads to “a very good end in many cases where you essentially get nearly all and perhaps sometimes more of the relief than you get after you’ve litigated.” This practice has come under recent scrutiny from some federal judges and lawmakers who argue that the SEC should insist on an admission of guilt.