On November 14th, the SEC's Office of Inspector General ("OIG") released its report on allegations that the SEC's Enforcement Division had improperly destroyed records relating to Matters Under Inquiry ("MUIs") over the past two decades. The report also addressed allegations that the SEC made misleading statements in an August 27, 2010 response to a July 29, 2010 letter from the National Archives and Records Administration ("NARA") concerning the SEC's potential unauthorized destruction of MUI records. While the OIG did not find evidence that the individuals who were responsible for preparing the response to NARA intentionally made materially false statements in that response, it did find that certain senior Enforcement Division officials should have drafted a response to NARA that was more forthcoming, in light of the information that was available to them at the time. It also recommended that the Division of Enforcement: (i) determine what federal records from closed MUIs are retrievable, and ensure that any such federal records are retained in the same manner that investigative records are retained; (ii) work with the SEC's Office of Records Management Services and NARA to determine which MUI and investigative records are legally required to be retained; (iii) determine if there are additional federal records that, while not legally required to be retained, should be retained; and (iv) review its guidance, including as it relates to automatically generated e-mails, to ensure that all guidance is consistent with the Enforcement Division's federal record retention legal obligations.
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