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Upon written request, copies available from: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, Washington, DC 20549-0213.

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

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 approval of the extension of the previously approved collection of information on the following rule: Rule 17a-13 (17 CFR 240.17a-13) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S. C. 78a et seq.).

Rule 17a-13(b) (17 CFR 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 that they 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) (17 CFR 240.17a-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 require filing a report with the Commission, discrepancies between a broker-dealer's records and the securities counts may be required to be reported, for example, as a loss on Form X-17A-5 (17 CFR 248.617), which must be filed with the Start Printed Page 20724Commission under Rule 17a-5 (17 CFR 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 Rule also does not apply to certain broker-dealers required to register only because they effect transactions in securities futures products.

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.

Currently, there are approximately 5,700 broker-dealers registered with the Commission. However, given the variability in their businesses, it is difficult to quantify how many hours per year each broker-dealer spends complying with the Rule. As noted, the Rule requires a broker-dealer to account for all securities in its possession. Many broker-dealers hold few, if any, securities; while others hold large quantities. Therefore, the time burden of complying with the Rule will depend on respondent-specific factors, including size, number of customers, and proprietary trading activity. The staff estimates that the average time spent per respondent on the Rule is 100 hours per year. This estimate takes into account the fact that more than half the 5,700 respondents—according to financial reports filed with the Commission—may spend little or no time in complying with the Rule, given that they do not do a public securities business or do not hold inventories of securities. For these reasons, the staff estimates that the total compliance burden per year is 570,000 hours (5,700 respondents × 100 hours/respondent).

The records required to be made by Rule 17a-13 are available only to Commission examination 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.

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.

Comments should be directed to (i) Desk Officer for the Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Room 10102, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503 or by sending an e-mail to:; and (ii) R. Corey Booth, Director/Chief Information Officer, Securities and Exchange Commission, c/o Shirley Martinson, 6432 General Green Way, Alexandria, VA 22312 or send an e-mail to: Comments must be submitted within 30 days of this notice.

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Dated: April 9, 2008.

Florence E. Harmon,

Deputy Secretary.

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[FR Doc. E8-8153 Filed 4-15-08; 8:45 am]