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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 Investor Education and Advocacy, Washington, DC 20549-0213.

Extension:

Rule 17a-7, SEC File No. 270-238, OMB Control No. 3235-0214.

Notice is hereby given that, pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) is soliciting comments on the collections of information summarized below. The Commission plans to submit the existing collection of information to the Office of Management and Budget for extension and approval.

Rule 17a-7 (17 CFR 270.17a-7) (the “rule”) under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80a-1 et seq.) (the “Act”) is entitled “Exemption of certain 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 (“funds”), that are affiliated persons (“first-tier affiliates”) or affiliated persons of affiliated persons (“second-tier affiliates”), or between a fund and a first- or second-tier affiliate other than another fund, when the affiliation arises solely because of a common investment adviser, director, or officer. Rule 17a-7 requires funds to keep various records in connection with purchase or sale transactions effected in reliance on the rule. The rule requires the fund's board of directors to establish procedures reasonably designed to ensure that the rule's conditions have been satisfied. The board is also required to determine, at least on a quarterly basis, that all affiliated transactions effected during the preceding quarter in reliance on the rule were made in compliance with these established procedures. If a fund enters into a purchase or sale transaction with an affiliated person, the rule requires the fund to compile and maintain written records of the transaction.[1] The Commission's examination staff uses these records to evaluate for compliance with the rule.

While most funds do not commonly engage in transactions covered by rule 17a-7, the Commission staff estimates that nearly all funds have adopted procedures for complying with the rule.[2] Of the approximately 3318 currently active funds, the staff estimates that virtually all have already adopted procedures for compliance with rule 17a-7. This is a one-time burden, and the staff therefore does not estimate an ongoing burden related to the policies and procedures requirement of the rule for funds.[3] The staff estimates that there are approximately 150 new funds that register each year, and that each of these funds adopts the relevant policies and procedures. The staff estimates that it takes approximately 4 hours to develop and adopt these policies and procedures. Therefore, the total annual burden related to developing and adopting these policies and procedures would be approximately 600 hours.[4]

Of the 3318 existing funds, the staff assumes that approximately 25%, (or 830) enter into transactions affected by rule 17a-7 each year (either by the fund directly or through one of the fund's series), and that the same percentage (25%, or 38 funds) of the estimated 150 funds that newly register each year will also enter into these transactions, for a total of 868 [5] companies that are affected by the recordkeeping requirements of rule 17a-7. These funds must keep records of each of these transactions, and the board of directors must quarterly determine that all relevant transactions were made in compliance with the company's policies and procedures. The rule generally imposes a minimal burden of collecting and storing records already generated for other purposes.[6] The staff estimates that the burden related to making these records and for the board to review all transactions would be 3 hours annually for each respondent, (2 hours spent by compliance attorneys and 1 hour spent Start Printed Page 54822by the board of directors) [7] or 2604 total hours each year.[8]

Based on these estimates, the staff estimates the combined total annual burden hours associated with rule 17a-7 is 3204 hours.[9] The staff also estimates that there are approximately 1018 respondents and 7094 total responses.[10]

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. 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.

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 Thomas Bayer, Director/Chief Information Officer, Securities and Exchange Commission, c/o Remi Pavlik-Simon, 6432 General Green Way, Alexandria, VA 22312; or send an e-mail to: PRA_Mailbox@sec.gov.

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Dated: August 29, 2011.

Elizabeth M. Murphy,

Secretary.

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Footnotes

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.  Unless stated otherwise, these estimates are based on conversations with the examination and inspections staff of the Commission and fund representatives.

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3.  Based on our reviews and conversations with fund representatives, we understand that funds rarely, if ever, need to make changes to these policies and procedures once adopted, and therefore we do not estimate a paperwork burden for such updates.

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4.  This estimate is based on the following calculations: (4 hours × 150 new funds = 600 hours).

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5.  This estimate is based on the following calculation: (830 + 38 = 868).

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6.  Commission staff believes that rule 17a-7 does not impose any costs associated with record preservation in addition to the costs that funds already incur to comply with the record preservation requirements of rule 31a-2 under the Act. Rule 31a-2 requires companies to preserve certain records for specified periods of time.

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7.  The staff estimates that funds that rely on rule 17a-7 annually enter into an average of 8 rule 17a-7 transactions each year. The staff estimates that the compliance attorneys of the companies spend approximately 15 minutes per transaction on this recordkeeping, and the board of directors spends a total of 1 hour annually in determining that all transactions made that year were done in compliance with the company's policies and procedures.

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8.  This estimate is based on the following calculation: (3 hours × 868 companies = 2604 hours).

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9.  This estimate is based on the following calculation: (600 hours + 2604 hours = 3204 total hours).

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10.  This estimate is based on the following calculations: (150 newly registered funds + 868 funds that engage in rule 17a-7 transactions = 1018); (868 funds that engage in rule 17a-7 transactions × 8 times per year = 6944); (6944 + 150 = 7094 responses).

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[FR Doc. 2011-22571 Filed 9-1-11; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8011-01-P