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Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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-4; SEC File No. 270-198; OMB Control No. 3235-0279.

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.

Rule 17a-4 requires exchange members, brokers and dealers to preserve for prescribed periods of time certain records required to be made by Rule 17a-3. In addition, Rule 17a-4 requires the preservation of records required to be made by other Commission rules and other kinds of records which firms make or receive in the ordinary course of business. These include, but are not limited to, bank statements, cancelled checks, bills receivable and payable, originals of communications, and descriptions of various transactions. Rule 17a-4 also permits broker-dealers to employ, under certain conditions, electronic storage media to maintain records required to be maintained under Rules 17a-3 and 17a-4.

There are approximately 6,900 active, registered broker-dealers. The staff estimates that the average amount of time necessary to preserve the books and records as required by Rule 17a-4 is 254 hours per broker-dealer per year. Thus the staff estimates that the total compliance burden for 6,900 respondents is 1,752,600 hours.

The staff believes that compliance personnel would be charged with ensuring compliance with Commission regulation, including Rule 17a-4. The staff estimates that the hourly salary of a compliance manager is $50 per hour.[1] Based upon these numbers, the total cost of compliance for 6,900 respondents is approximately $87.63 million (1,752,600 yearly hours x $50). The total burden hour decrease of 128,661 results from the decrease in the number of respondents from 7,217 to 6,900.

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 shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be 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 R. Corey Booth, Director/Chief Information Officer, Office of Information Technology, Securities and Exchange Commission, 450 5th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20549.

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Dated: November 29, 2004.

Jill M. Peterson,

Assistant Secretary.

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1.  This figure is based on the SIA Report on Office Salaries In the Securities Industry 2003 (Compliance Manager) and includes 35% for overhead charges.

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[FR Doc. E4-3498 Filed 12-6-04; 8:45 am]