tv [untitled] April 10, 2012 1:00pm-1:30pm EDT
>> i haven't thought about it. it's an interesting idea to have people take the lead on different parts of that. we'll certainly talk about that. >> just trying to figure out, that way you have more hands and trying to get it all done. on the regional office, i was pleased that you mentioned the review of the 11 regional offices. how do you -- how do you suspect you'll go through the process of trying to figure out some of those could be closed but not lose the functionality of what these people do? >> one of the things is we look at the original office strategy. regional offices grow up over many, many years for all sorts of different reasons. and our regional offices do a tremendous amount of the agency's work. that's where most of our examiners and our enforcement
staff are located. so we want to go about this in a very sort of constructive and thoughtful and careful way. we will analyze issues around productivity around proximity to industry, proximity to investors. conch for the country because it's a big country. we're a pretty small agency. we're about the size of the d.c. police department, but we have responsibility for policing financial markets across the entire country. we will look at a whole range of metrics. it's being looked at by the head of our examinations group. we need contractor support in order to get to the really detailed and in depth analysis that at the end of the day it may say we have it right. it may say we're not in all the right places and we don't have a
preconceived notion about that right now at all. we need contractor support. i would like to focus on just three or four of the bcg initiatives for the coming year, that's when that we'll keep our eye on. >> i can understand why you would have to have the examiners in certain locations. anymore with technology as it is, you're props not in the immediate near term and certainly in the near future if everything works on the i.t. front, i suspect you can get an awful lot tended to in addition to having your folks just show up in a company. >> we ened up closing one office and opening a satellite office in the new york area to get better coverage in new york where the industry was more heavily located. there's also sometimes great stability and depth of knowledge and expert tease in some
regional offices that has to be concerned and we don't want to lose that. some offices are in very expensive -- inexpensive parts of the country. so from a cost benefit perspective it might make sense to keep an office open. might make sense to grow it as long as airfares and other considerations to get them to other areas are not exorbitant. there are a lot of factors we need to look at. >> i appreciate that, joe. >> thank you so much. last year the sec faced some very serious problems in its leasing policies leading to a viels of the anti-deficiencies act. please describe to us the steps you have taken to remedy this conference and to ensure that this problem never faces you again. >> thank you. let me start by saying that i take responsibility for the agency's missteps with respect to leasing at constitution center.
the report explains a number of the flaws in the process of determines what our space needs would be. based on the expectation that the agency would be given the resources to do the new responsibilities under dodd frank and a doubling of our budget authorization, which i understand is not the same as an appropriation, we did go ahead and lease space. we moved very quickly to mitigate the situation. 2/3 of that space have been sublet or released to other federal agencies that are none appropriated agencies. the occ and the federal housing finance agency. the fhfa has already moved into the space. 2/3 of the space is gone.
we expect to access it in the next 30 days or so. i revoked all delegations to staff to sign real property leases. i turned over all our leasing responsibilities to the general services administration which has deep and long experience and we will leverage them and they will enter all property leases on behalf of the sec. >> i'm tempted to say that should make the chairwoman very happy, but i'm being sarcastic. >> i understand. i am pleased that you all are giving that responsibility over to the gsa. we'll deal with them on another day.
>> we're motivated. we can use our resources much more critically for our mission, protecting investors, ensuring the marks operate with integrity and build up infrastructure with other agencies. >> she's right. but profoundly sarcastic which is a whole different thing. i do agree with miss emerson that this is probably where it best belongs and hopefully this will never happen again. i think the sec have been more
vigorous than ever in pursuing wrong doing. i am concerned about the sec settlement policies with those accused of unlawful activities. in some cases the sec has obtained settlements with individuals in which they neither have to admit or deny guilt. the same individuals have pled guilty to criminal charges elsewhere. do you think the sec is doing enough to obtain admissions of guilt. now, we've also seen press reports to say if they had to admit guilt and you could get into some legal proceedings that would eat up resources, just on the face of it seems strange to many of us that somebody would do something wrong and would simply go oops, and that's it be
end of it and i'd like you to tell us why there's a good policy. >> our policy with respect to cases with parallel criminal proceeding and a finding of a plead or a gl verdict we do not allow people to neither admit nor deny in the parallel civil proceedings. that policy changed a number of months ago. i will say with respect to gist our purely civil proceedings, this is how we approach the issue of allowing people to neither admit nor deny. if we can get in a settlement back to investors about the same amount of money and penaltity that we would get if we litigated the case without the incertainty of litigation, the possibility of losing litigation or the tremendous delay sometimes of years of litigation, we think that's a good deal for investors for us to get that money back to them
much more quickly. i realize it leaves people -- we will litigate. we do litigate many cases. but where we can get in settlement what we would get after years at a trial, we think it's a good deal. >> but if part of your mission is to try to make sure what happened that put us into this hole we're in right now doesn't happen again. people tend to have short memories. so we're all now during an leather cycle trying to figure out how we got into this mess and claiming certain residents at the white house having caused it all. but i remember unless i'm totally incorrect that we got into this this mess when a lot of things happened in the financial industry that had
ramifications and dominoed throughout the economy. if no one is going to be found guilty of anything, what's to stop them from doing it again and again knowing all that's going to happen is to repay what they took. if there's something missing there that doesn't happen to a person down the street from me in the bronx. they usually have to pay more than that for stealing a car. >> virtually every other federal agency and every other financial agency allows the settlement of cases on a neither admit nor deny basis. in fact, doj and a number of others in the federal trade commission allow the person that's been sued to deny all of the allegations except for the jurisdiction of the agency. we don't ever allow anyone to
deny the allegations. we just don't require them to admit them. we have a stronger settlement posture than most oragencies. the other thing we do is if you look at a complaint that we file in a case, we lay out the facts pretty clearly. we quote the emails. it gives a pretty full picture and description of what went wrong. again, we do litigate a lot of cases and we name a lot of individuals in the cases we bring. >> let me just close with this. there were some folks in the past including folks in your agency that didn't want any oversight to take place. there are some people in government and there are people in this society who may not in our country, who may not want you to be vigorous in your
oversight. so please make sure you're not opening the door for people to think they can get away with things. there are plenty of folks out there who would want it just that way under the heading of we shouldn't have too many regulations and they don't seem to understand that some regulations are in place to stop bad things from happening. >> i understand. i want to re-assure you. we are a law enforcement agency. we are many things. we are a regulator, but we are a law enforcement agency. we take it very seriously. we're brought on board a lot of topnotch prosecutors into the sec's enforcement program so we can go up against the biggest and strongest and best funded defendants that exist and we'll continue to do that. >> thank you. >> i'm glad you brought this issue up, it's really important. you did say earlier the question that wasn't specific to that
this exact issue with regard with big bank settlements that you wanted more lit gators and i'm assuming, i should never assume anything, let me ask if this is so you could possibly have more opportunities to pursue cases and not have to settle with no consequences. >> i would say now we won't settle a case if we don't believe we're getting the appropriate remedies and we won't bring a case we don't think we can win if we have to litigate it. the expectation is as we bring more and more cases we will have to litigate more of them and we need experienced trial counsel, paralegals to support them and investigators to support them to do that. >> do you ever contract out for those services? some agencies do? >> i believe we have a paralegal contract. we obviously have expert witnesses from time to time under contract and that's
another exopinions of going to trial. >> indeed. >> the fact is needing expert witnesses. i don't believe we contract any of our core enforcement function. >> i was just curious. there are other agencies for example for a certain specific trial that doj needs some extra help with, for example. i was just curious. >> i associate myself with remarks by the ranking member on set settlement and litigation because of the impact it has on what i term some measure of risk and we have to be careful as they do in criminal proceedings if you don't do something from time to time that elevates that
risk by prospective perp praters if you're it shall perpetrators if you're just settling from what you would normally get, to me it does nothing about the risk factor. i just make that as an observation. you said that in passing a minute ago when you were talking about capital formation that caught my attention. last year i worked with jim hiends on a bill as you know madam chairwoman elevates the threshold of registration number for community banks from 500 to 2,000. that same language is coming back in a bill this week as you know. the sec has the i guess the authority it's within its per view to do that on its own. we had 4 the 0 votes on there. >> yes. it was overwhelming. yes. >> it was pretty decisive.
help me with that. >> sure. let me add too, that we have a new advisory committee on small and emerging business which has been a tremendous resource to us over the last six or eight months in looking at a lot of these issues and they recently recommended to us that we race that 500 shareholder trigger to 2,000 for community banks and 1,000 for other public companies and they just transmitted that recommendation to us recently. this is something we're looking at very carefully and we would have to engage in rule making which may take longer than actually passing legislation would take. but the staff is working very hard on this and there's a lot of interest at the commission in moving forward. >> my experience in the short period of time as being a member of congress i'm not so sure that legislative activity is any faster or slower than rule making. i just -- i haven't been
convinced yet. but we'll see going forward. i was also pleased that you mentioned in discussing cost benefit analysis there was a mention in passing of high cost low cost areas. when you add 670 some people in a given year, if all of these personnel additions and you know you indicated they're going to be spread out around a lot of offices, if they were all located in se the district of columbia or in my friend's beloved bronx, we're talking about a sizable amount of cost associated with people living in some of those locations, whereas if they were to be in a cape gentlemen rar doe, missouri -- >> northwest arkansas. >> ft. smith, arkansas. >> now stop it. >> the cost associated with people located in those areas that have nice qualities of life, cities, communities run by
some of america's best mayors, having been one of those -- there's some merit to having people in these areas and help reduce that cost. i know it's not a lot in the overall scheme of things, but every little bit helps. >> i agree completely. the largest number of slots in this budget proposal would go for examiners who are not in washington, d.c. because there's very little securities industry in washington, d.c. to be regulating. and they would be spread around the country in places from salt lake to ft. worth to boston, philadelphia, we have 11 regional offices. so part of this regional strategy, regional office strategy that the chairwoman and i were discussing really needs to look affordably house and hire people and give them a quality of life as you point out and hopefully have them stay with the agency for a long time.
>> thank you, i yield back. >> thank you. mr. yoeder, you're good. everybody seems to be good. we'll let you off the hook early today. do y'all have questions that you want to submit to the record? if so, we'll submit them to you if we could possibly request a response in 30 days that would be terrific. you don't have to do it by tomorrow. chairman, we thank you very much, very much. you do have a tough job. and it's a responsibility that few others in this government have. it can't always be easy to sleep at night. thanks for the job that you do. our job is to make it easier for you to do your job. please understand we want to be as efficient as we possibly can. >> we understand, we want to be as efficient as we can too.
then we can spend the money on things that really matter. >> or perhaps paying the debt. thank you so much. >> thank you. >> more capitol hill testimony on the obama administration's budget request for 2013 is still ahead here on c-span 3. in a few moments u.n. ambassador susan rice on the foreign operations budget request. and then environmental protection agenciedy administro lisa jackson on the budget for the epa. >> martin luther king is a man
of all the people that i've met and talked with and spent time over the years is a more that i most the american individual that i admire most of all of all of them. he is my personal hero. why? because martin luther king put his money where his mouth was. [ applause ] >> his career spanned over 60 years. cbc's mike wallace died this past weekend at age 93. watch any of his almost 50 appearances in the c span video library including his interviews with iranian presidents. the c-span video library every c-span program since 1987. >> president obama this afternoon will visit boca raton, florida, to discuss taxes. you can see his remarks on our
companion network c-span. live coverage at 2:55 eastern. the u.s. ambassador to the u.n. susan rice testified on capitol hill about the obama administration's foreign operations budget. some members questioned the $79 million for unesco, the u.n. scientific and education organization because the body has allowed palestinian as a member. ambassador rice's testimony is about an hour and a half. >> we will come to order. i want to welcome everyone to today's hearing. ambassador rice thank you for being with us today to give testimony and answer our questions on the administration's budget request for the united nations and international organizations. i know it's been a very challenging year since you last testified before this committee.
we commend you for your efforts to get the international community to pressure iran to stop pursuing nuclear weapons. you've also pushed the u.n. to assist countries in the middle east and north africa that are facing difficult transitions. and i know there are many issues you're always working on that never make the front page. unfortunately in spite of your hard workers there's been many disappointments at the u.n. over the last year. the conflict rages on in syria with are you shall be and china unwilling to join the international community unless we hear differently from you this morning and we want to hear your thoughts on what if anything can still be done to put pressure on those countries to act. the situation is very troubling and it's difficult to explain to our constituents why the u.n. can't come up with a coordinated response to a crisis of this magnitude. we've always watched with concern as the palestinians go around the peace process to seek recognition as a palestinian
state. administration officials made it known to the palestinians that the u.s. would veto a statehood resolution at the security council but then the palestinians changed their strategy and went to unesco. we're concerned the palestinians will try to get their status elevated in the general assembly and other u.n. agencies. we'd like an update on what you expect would happen over that next year on that issue. as you know all too well, the u.s. is now withholding our contribution to unesco because of the palestinian action that's in cordance with u.s. law. many members of congress believe that cutting off these funds is the reason the palestinian authority stopped further recognition efforts yet the administration's requested the authority to waive the provisions of law that require unesco's funding to stop. we'll want to hear more about this waiver proposal. in addition the many concerns remain about the effectiveness
and transparency of u.n. organizations, the administration's report on u.s. contributions to international organization shows that $8.5 billion was provided in the u.n. and other international organizations in fiscal year 2010. i was very concerned to learn that while the u.s. is the largest u.n. donor, we have limbed access to information to ensure that our funds are spent wisely and effectively. as a result provisions are now included in the state foreign operations appropriations bill that require the secretary of state to withhold funds if tun and its agencies are not making progress on transparency and accountability measures. we want to hear changes on how these new riemplts will be met. >> another troubling development is that the sub committee recently learned about the possibility of a significant cost overrun for the u.n. headquarters renovation project.
as you know language was carried many the last two appropriations bills to limit the cost of the project and minimize the burden on the united states. we continue to expect you and the state department to work together to finish the project within funds already appropriated for those that project. i want to close with a topic mentioned at the beginning of my remarks and that's iran. the head of the iaea recently said that he had serious concerns that iran may be hiding skreet atomic weapons. i'm very concerned that the time for talk has passed. this promise could be another stalling tactic. we want to hear what actions you're taking at the u.n. circuit court council to imcrease pressure on iran. closing ambassador rice, i want to thank you and the u.s. delegation station in new york and around the world.
we appreciate the sacrifices that are made on a daily basis and we thank you for being here and now i turn to ranking member for her remarks. >> good morning, ambassador, rice. i join with chairwoman granger in welcoming you today and i thank you for your service to our country. much has happened. from the crisis in syria, to the famine in the horn of africa to the transition in afghanistan, the u.n. has been deeply involved in matters of great importance with the united states and the global economy. in a world where threats do not stop at borders and at a time when americans are tightening their belts and looking to us to make every dollar count, tun plays an indispensable role in
defending our interests and values. the u.n. the not perfect, it delivers real results by advancing global stability. the benefits are not always obvious to the casual observer. but the u.n. is so fundamental to our efforts overseas, if it did not already exist, we would have to create it. to through our membership in the u.n. we augment the response to the global changes and cry ses with global resources, expertise and legitimacy of the u.n. membership of the u.n. makes our country more secure and more prosperous and it supports u.s. efforts to advance democracy, human rights, health and development. i look forward to hearing from you about how the president's budget request will promote our national interests and maintain u.s. global leadership through our continued work with the united nations. specifically, i hope you will address how the u.n. is working to address the violence in
syria. i hope you will highlight both successes that you have had over the past year as well as strategies for overcoming continued challenges. last year you spoke about reforms the u.s. is pushing at the u.n. including increased budget discipline, improved transparency, and better protection for whistle blowers. i hope you provide an update on those efforts and provide concrete steps the u.s. is taking to promote additional reforms and the u.s. missions work to make the u.n. more efficient, effective and transparent across the wider u.n. system including u.n. funds, programs and specialized agencies. from well known organizations like unicef and the world health organiza t