A Change in Federal Administration—Looking Forward to 2017

Date01 March 2017
AuthorDonald A. Walker
Published date01 March 2017
© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Published online in Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com).
DOI 10.1002/jcaf.22253
A Change in Federal Administration—
Looking Forward to 2017
Donald A. Walker, Jr.
The national elections of 2016
have produced a Republican
president and have sustained
Republican majorities in both
houses of Congress. This has
not been a single party holding
of all three for a long while.
Looking forward to 2017, the
operations of the Securities
andExchange Commission
(SEC) will be affected in a
number of ways.
First, the top management
makeup of the Commission is
subject to change. The Chair
of the Commission is leaving.
There are three open seats on
the Commission which, as cur-
rently unfilled, make conducting
the business of the Commis-
sion difficult. With only two
remaining commissioners, any
discussions between them are
subject to “Sunshine in Gov-
ernment” rules and disclosures.
Further, the Quorum rules
apply also. The Commission is
likely to be reconstituted in a
more conservative fashion by a
Republican administration and
In addition, the chief
accountant and the chief
accountants of the Divisions
of Enforcement and Corpora-
tion Finance and the Divi-
sion Heads often change with
a change in administration.
With the presidency and both
houses of Congress in Repub-
lican hands for the first time
in a while, significant change
is possible. Reexamination
of the goals and priorities of
the major divisions is likely.
The “prosecutorial” approach
to regulation as defined and
administered by Chair White
is likely to be evaluated and
As 2016 closes, debate
continues over the length of a
continuing resolution to fund
the operations of government.
Current Republican views
include a short resolution end-
ing in spring 2017, forcing early
resolution of budget matters.
The sooner a budget is estab-
lished and passed, the sooner
the SEC will feel the impact of
potentially stricter budgeting.
Given the Republican majori-
ties and presidency, expansion
of the workforce, despite the
perceived need for more staff,
may not be possible given the
majority view that the federal
workforce should be reduced.
SEC management may impose
hiring restrictions with a com-
mensurate impact on growing
programs. In addition, the use
of more modern, machine-
based approaches to oversight
and monitoring responsibilities
may permit the replacement
of human staff, and reduc-
tions through attrition may
be a result. In its forecasting
of human resources, manage-
ment will have to consider the
patterns of later retirement
among more experienced and
older staff members, espe-
cially since growing numbers
of retirement-eligible staff
members are looking to the
401-K-like retirement plans
while those staff who were eli-
gible for the older defined ben-
efit government plan dwindle.
Those remaining older staff
members will move through
defined steps toward maximum
compensation under the SK
Compensation System (operat-
ing like the GS system but at
a significantly higher pay level
similar to that of the banking
supervisory agency system)
and automatically increase per

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