The 2008 budget recently proposed by the White House includes a 3.2% increase in the SEC's budget. The SEC would receive $906 million, an increase from the $878 million that the SEC is projected to spend in Fiscal Year 2007 (ending September 30). The Enforcement Division would receive a 3.5% increase in its budget to $321 million, and the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations would receive a 3.9% increase to $213 million.
The President's proposed budget assumes that the SEC will finish Fiscal Year 2008 with 3,547 full-time employees, which is the same number that the agency expects to have at the end of this year. This number is down by almost 15% from the approximately 4,100 employees who were working at the agency in 2004.
The SEC's budgets have remained fairly constant since 2002, when the agency's responsibilities for policing corporate fraud were greatly expanded in the wake of the Enron and Worldcom cases. For the past couple of years, hiring to replace employees who leave the agency has slowed to a trickle. This has made it tougher for the agency to accomplish its mission, while simultaneously increasing the workload for employees who remain at the SEC.