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Submission for OMB Review; 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.

Notice is hereby given that, pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) a request for extension of the previously approved collection of information described below.

Rule 17a-7 [17 CFR 270.17a-7] under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the “Act”) is entitled “Exemption of Start Printed Page 817certain purchase or sale transactions between an investment company and certain affiliated persons thereof.” It provides an exemption from section 17(a) of the Act for purchases and sales of securities between registered investment companies, which are affiliated persons or affiliated persons of affiliated persons of each other, or between a registered investment company and an affiliated person or an affiliated person of an affiliated person, when the affiliation arises solely because of a common adviser, director, or officer. Rule 17a-7 requires investment companies to keep various records in connection with purchase or sale transactions affected by the rule. The rule requires the board of directors of an investment company to establish procedures reasonably designed to ensure that all conditions of the rule have been satisfied. If an investment company enters into a purchase or sale transaction with an affiliated person, the rule requires the investment company to compile and maintain written records of the transaction.[1] In addition, under the rule, the board is required to determine, at least on a quarterly basis, that all affiliated transactions made during the preceding quarter were made in compliance with these established procedures. The Commission's examination staff uses these records to evaluate transactions between affiliated investment companies for compliance with the rule.

The Commission estimates that approximately 1,000 investment companies enter into transactions affected by rule 17a-7 each year and, therefore, are subject to the rule's information collection requirements.[2] The average annual burden for rule 17a-7 is estimated to be approximately two burden hours per respondent, for an annual total of 2,000 burden hours for all respondents.[3] The estimates of burden hours are made solely for the purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act, and are not derived from a comprehensive or even a representative survey or study of the costs of Commission rules.

Rule 17a-7 requires investment companies to maintain and preserve permanently a written copy of the procedures governing rule 17a-7 transactions. In addition, investment companies are required to maintain written records of each rule 17a-7 transaction for a period of not less than six years from the end of the fiscal year in which the transaction occurred. The collection of information required by rule 17a-7 is necessary to obtain the benefits of the rule. Responses will not be kept confidential. 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.

Please direct general comments regarding the above information to the following persons: (i) Desk Officer for the Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503; and (ii) Kenneth A. Fogash, Acting Associate Executive Director, Office of Information Technology, Securities and Exchange Commission, 450 5th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20549. Comments must be submitted to OMB within 30 days of this notice.

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Dated: December 27, 2002.

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

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1.  The written records are required to set forth a description of the security purchased or sold, the identity of the person on the other side of the transaction, and the information or materials upon which the board of directors' determination that the transaction was in compliance with the procedures was made.

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2.  These estimates are based on conversations with the examination and inspections staff of the Commission and fund representatives. Based on these conversations, the Commission staff estimates that most investment companies (4,000 of the estimated 4,500 registered investment companies) have adopted procedures for compliance with rule 17a-7. Of these 4,000 investment companies, the Commission staff estimates that each year approximately 25% (1,000) enter into transactions affected by rule 17a-7.

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3.  This estimate is based in turn on the staff's estimate that the approximately 1,000 funds that rely on rule 17a-7 annually engage in an average of 8 rule 17a-7 transactions and spend approximately 15 minutes per transaction on recordkeeping required by the rule.

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[FR Doc. 03-271 Filed 1-6-03; 8:45 am]