In a speech on November 6 before the Investment Company Directors Conference in Washington, Andrew “Buddy” Donohue, Director of the Securities and Exchange Commission Division of Investment Management, described the SEC’s mutual fund Director Outreach Initiative (DOI). The DOI’s purpose is to answer the question: “What can or should the Commission do in order to aid fund directors in the performance of their duties?” Donohue was perplexed by the general lack of response from fund directors when he asked them, “where do you add value for shareholders and the fund?” Given the recent events in the sub-prime market, the “key area where fund directors add value for shareholders is in the fair valuation of portfolio securities,” stated Donohue. “If you are having difficulty pricing a security or if securities pose a liquidity challenge, query whether those securities belong in a mutual fund.” Based on DOI feedback, Donohue also highlighted (i) the nature of the comments the SEC received concerning Rule 12b-1 fees, (ii) the obligation of directors to monitor soft dollar payments, including a current effort by Donohue’s staff to issue guidance on a director’s oversight responsibilities for fund trading practices and (iii) the propriety of delegating board responsibilities to the fund’s chief compliance officer. 

 http://www.sec.gov/news/speech/2007/spch110607ajd.htm.