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Notice

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 19a-1; SEC File No. 270-240; OMB Control No. 3235-0216

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”) is soliciting comments on the collections of information summarized below. The Commission plans to submit these existing collections of information to the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) for extension and approval.

Section 19(a) [15 U.S.C. 80a-19(a)] of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the “Act”) makes it unlawful for any registered investment company to pay any dividend or similar distribution from any source other than the company's net income, unless the payment is accompanied by a written statement to the company's shareholders which adequately discloses the sources of the payment. Section 19(a) authorizes the Commission to prescribe the form of such statement by rule.

Rule 19a-1 [17 CFR 270.19a-1] under the Act, entitled “Written Statement to Accompany Dividend Payments by Management Companies,” sets forth specific requirements for the information that must be included in statements made pursuant to section 19(a) by or on behalf of management companies.[1] The rule requires that the statement indicate what portions of distribution payments are made from net income, net profits and paid-in capital. When any part of the payment is made from net profits, rule 19a-1 also requires that the statement disclose certain other information relating to the appreciation or depreciation of portfolio securities. If an estimated portion is subsequently determined to be significantly inaccurate, a correction must be made on a statement made pursuant to section 19(a) or in the first report to shareholders following the discovery of the inaccuracy.

The purpose of rule 19a-1 is to afford fund shareholders adequate disclosure of the sources from which distribution payments are made. The rule is intended to prevent shareholders from confusing income dividends with distributions made from capital sources. Absent rule 19a-1, shareholders might receive a false impression of fund gains.

Based on a review of filings made with the Commission, the staff estimates that approximately 3,000 portfolios of registered investment companies that are management companies may be subject to rule 19a-1 each year, and that each portfolio on average mails two statements per year to meet the requirements of the rule.[2] The staff further estimates that the time needed to make the determinations required by the rule and to prepare the statement required under the rule is approximately 1.5 hours per statement. The total annual burden for all portfolios therefore is estimated to be approximately 9,000 burden hours.

The staff estimates that approximately one-third of the total annual burden (3,000 hours) would be incurred by a senior administrative officer with an average hourly wage rate of approximately $158 per hour, and approximately two-thirds of the annual burden (6,000 hours) would be incurred by senior clerical staff with an average hourly wage rate of $25 per hour.[3] The staff therefore estimates that the aggregate annual cost of complying with the paperwork requirements of the rule is approximately $624,000 ((3,000 hours × $158) + (6,000 hours × $25)).

The estimate of average burden hours is made solely for the purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act, and is not derived from a comprehensive or even a representative survey or study of the costs of Commission rules. Compliance with the collection of information required by rule 19a-1 is mandatory for management companies that make statements to shareholders pursuant to section 19(a) of the Act. 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.

Written comments are invited on: (a) Whether the collections of information are necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information has practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Commission's estimate of the burdens of the collections of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burdens of the collections 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, 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC 20549.

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Dated: January 31, 2006.

Nancy M. Morris,

Secretary.

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Footnotes

1.  Section 4(3) of the Act [15 U.S.C. 80a-4(3)] defines “management company” as “any investment company other than a face amount certificate company or a unit investment trust.”

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2.  A few portfolios make monthly distributions from sources other than net income, so the rule requires them to send out a statement 12 times a year. Other portfolios never make such distributions.

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3.  All hourly rates in this Supporting Statement are derived from the average annual salaries reported for employees outside of New York City in Securities Industry Association, Management and Professional Earnings in the Securities Industry (2003) and Securities Industry Association, Office Salaries in the Securities Industry (2003).

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[FR Doc. E6-1622 Filed 2-6-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P