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Upon written request, copies available from: Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of Filings and Information Services, Washington, DC 20549.

Extension Rule 17a-13; SEC File No. 270-27; OMB Control No. 3235-0035

Notice is hereby given that, pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) a request for the extension of the previously approved collection of information on the following rule: 17 CFR 240.17a-13 Quarterly Security Counts to be Made by Certain Exchange Members, Brokers, and Dealers.

Rule 17a-13(b) generally requires that at least once each calendar quarter, all registered brokers and dealers physically examine and count all securities held and account for all other securities not in their possession, but subject to the broker-dealer's control or direction. Any discrepancies between the broker-dealer's securities count and the firm's records must be noted and, within seven days, the unaccounted for difference must be recorded in the firm's records. Rule 17a-13(c) provides that under specified conditions, the securities counts, examination and verification of the broker-dealer's entire list of securities may be conducted on a cyclical basis rather than on a certain date. Although Rule 17a-13 does not Start Printed Page 19783require filing a report with the Commission, the discrepancies must be reported on Form X-17a-5 as required by Rule 17a-5. Rule 17a-13 exempts broker-dealers that limit their business to the sale and redemption of securities of registered investment companies and interests or participation in an insurance company separate account and those who solicit accounts for federally insured savings and loan associations, provided that such persons promptly transmit all funds and securities and hold no customer funds and securities.

The information obtained from Rule 17a-13 is used as an inventory control device to monitor a broker-dealer's ability to account for all securities held, in transfer, in transit, pledged, loaned, borrowed, deposited or otherwise subject to the firm's control or direction. Discrepancies between the securities counts and the broker-dealer's records alert the Commission and the Self-Regulatory Organizations (“SROs”) to those firms having problems in their back offices.

Because of the many variations in the amount of securities that broker-dealers are accountable for, it is difficult to develop a meaningful figure for the cost of compliance with Rule 17a-13. Approximately 91% of all registered broker-dealers are subject to Rule 17a-13. Accordingly, approximately 6,579 broker-dealers have obligations under the Rule, and the average time it would take each broker-dealer to comply with the Rule is 100 hours per year, for a total estimated annualized burden of 657,900 hours. It should be noted that a significant number of firms subject to Rule 17a-13 have minimal obligations under the Rule because they do not hold securities. It should further be noted that most broker-dealers would engage in the activities required by Rule 17a-13 even if they were not required to do so.

Security counts under Rule 17a-13 are mandatory for broker-dealers. If a broker-dealer has security discrepancies that must be recorded in its records, such records must be preserved for a period of no less than three years pursuant to Rule 17a-4(b)(1). Rule 17a-13 does not assure confidentiality for security discrepancy records and reports on Form X-17a-5.[1] Please note that an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid control number.

Written Comments regarding the above information should be directed to the following persons: (i) Desk Officer for the Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Room 10202, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503; and (ii) Michael E. Bartell, Associate Executive Director, Office of Information Technology, Securities and Exchange Commission, 450 Fifth Street, NW., Washington, DC 20549. Comments must be submitted to OMB within 30 days of this notice.

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Dated: April 16, 2002.

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

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Footnotes

1.  The records required by Rule 17a-13 are available only to the examination of the Commission staff, state securities authorities and the SROs. Subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 522, and the Commission's rules thereunder (17 CFR 200.80(b)(4)(iii)), the Commission does not generally publish or make available information contained in any reports, summaries, analyses, letters, or memoranda arising out of, in anticipation of, or in connection with an examination or inspection of the books and records of any person or any other investigation.

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[FR Doc. 02-9881 Filed 4-22-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P