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Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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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 20a-1 SEC File No. 270-132 OMB Control No. 3235-0158.

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”) is soliciting comments on the collection of information summarized below. The Commission plans to submit this existing collection of information to the Office of Management and Budget for extension and approval.

The title of the collection of information is “Rule 20a-1 under the Investment Company Act of 1940, Solicitation of Proxies, Consents and Authorizations.” Rule 20a-1(a) requires that the solicitation of a proxy, consent or authorization with respect to a security issued by a registered fund be in compliance with Regulation 14A (17 CFR 240.14a-1 to 14a-104), Schedule 14A (17 CFR 240.14a-101), and all other rules and regulations adopted under section 14(a) of the Securities Exchange Start Printed Page 56862Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78n(a)). Rule 20a-1(b) requires a fund's investment adviser, or a prospective adviser, to transmit to the person making a proxy solicitation the information necessary to enable that person to comply with the rules and regulations applicable to the solicitation.

Regulation 14A and Schedule 14A establish the disclosure requirements applicable to the solicitation of proxies, consents and authorizations. In particular, Item 22 of Schedule 14A contains extensive disclosure requirements for registered investment company proxy statements. Among other things, it requires the disclosure of information about fund fee or expense increases, the election of directors, the approval of an investment advisory contract and the approval of a distribution plan.

The Commission requires the dissemination of this information to assist investors in understanding their fund investments and the choices they may be asked to make regarding fund operations. The Commission does not use the information in proxies directly, but reviews proxy statement filings for compliance with applicable rules.

It is estimated that approximately 1,000 registered investment companies are required to file one proxy statement annually. The total annual reporting and recordkeeping burden of the collection of information is estimated to be approximately 106,200 hours (1,000 responses × 106.2 hours per response).

Written comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Consideration will be given to comments and suggestions submitted in writing within 60 days of this publication.

Please direct your written comments to Michael E. Bartell, Associate Executive Director, Office of Information Technology, Securities and Exchange Commission, 450 5th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20549.

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Dated: August 28, 2002.

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

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[FR Doc. 02-22573 Filed 9-4-02; 8:45 am]