April 12, 2011
I commend the Appropriations Committee for its support of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission by providing us with additional resources and a greater focus on technology. The Commission will receive $202.7 million (+20%) for the remaining five and a half months of the fiscal year.
Most important, the Conferees recognized the importance of advancing technology in our budget by providing a specific floor of $37.2 million for “the highest priority information technology activities of the Commission”. This is an increase of $17.2 million above the current spending level of $20 million for technology.1 The bill language directs this funding to be used for IT activities, which include work such as developing automated alerts, advanced analytical capabilities, and systems to integrate futures, options and swaps data. This sustained investment in advanced technology is essential to enable the Commission to leverage its federal resources to improve our surveillance of the derivative markets.
Additional funding from within the overall funding level of $202.7 million may be used to pay for the Commission’s basic technology infrastructure such as telecommunications, laptop and desktop computers, which are necessary to support the Commission’s daily operations.
The Conferees included a provision to allow for two-year spending authority, instead of one-year spending authority, which has been the norm. This provides the Commission with the flexibility we need to make technology investments and personnel decisions based on our actual rulemakings without the threat of losing this funding by October 1, 2011. I am grateful to have a budget agreement in place that will provide the Commission with the budgetary certainty we need to fulfill our statutory mandate.
1 FY’10 funding for technology was $30 M, until it was reduced by $11 M to offset higher salary and benefit costs during the Continuing Resolution.
Last Updated: April 13, 2011