I would like to thank the staff of the Division of Trading and Markets for its work on this proposed rule amendment. The Commission's action on this proposal today represents another step in a series of initiatives that the Commission has undertaken to streamline regulatory requirements and to reduce regulatory burdens. One of the Commission's top priorities during the last year has been to ensure through regulatory relief and reform that the agency is responsive to the challenges facing the US futures industry and its customers while at the same time preserving important protections of the public interest.

The Commission has taken several actions in the last year to achieve these goals. For example, in February the Commission implemented new "fast-track" procedures for processing certain contract designation applications and exchange rule changes. These procedures significantly streamlined the review process for most new exchange contracts and many exchange rules, permitting approval within 10 days for many types of contracts and 45 days for certain other contracts.

The Commission also has responded to the specific needs of FCMs and floor brokers. In June the Commission approved rules allowing for streamlined procedures for allocation of certain bunched orders. The Commission also provided relief to FCMs with respect to the capital treatment of short option positions to permit more FCMs to carry such positions for customers and to facilitate more efficient use of capital without creating undue financial risk.

The Commission has streamlined many of its reporting and disclosure requirements. For example, the Commission amended its reporting requirements to permit filing by large traders of CFTC Form 40, Statement of Reporting Trader, only when requested by the Commission rather than annually. We have adopted rule amendments to harmonize certain financial reporting requirements for regulated persons with the requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Commission also has approved in principle two-part disclosure documents, which potentially will simplify the information provided to customers.

The Commission has sought to take advantage of the increased efficiencies and reduced costs made possible through the use of electronic media. In June the Commission opened the way for FCMs to make use of electronic media in communicating with their customers. The Commission's guidance permits FCMs to deliver monthly statements, trade confirmations and other account statements solely by electronic media to customers who consent to electronic transmission in lieu of receiving paper documents. Also in June, the Commission authorized CTAs and CPOs to provide risk disclosure documents to their customers via electronic media. The Commission's interpretation enables CPOs and CTAs to provide customers with a risk disclosure summary and a hyperlink connection to the entire risk disclosure document.

The Commission has adopted measures to permit the electronic filing of certain documents with the Commission. In April the Commission adopted a rule allowing CTAs and CPOs to file their required disclosure documents with the Commission electronically. We also have undertaken a program to permit FCMs to file required financial reports with the Commission electronically. These electronic media initiatives should increase the timeliness of information flows, reduce the administrative costs of commodity professionals and allow all members of the industry and their customers to reap the benefits of technological advances.

Many of the Commission's actions over the last year were undertaken in direct response to issues raised by members of the industry. Others were undertaken following an internal review and recommendations by Commission staff. The Commission currently is working on several additional regulatory streamlining initiatives, and I am sure there are other initiatives of interest to members of the industry. I would like to reiterate my open invitation for industry participants and other interested persons to share with us their views on any other specific regulatory provisions which they believe are unduly burdensome or which could be streamlined. I strongly believe that by working together, the Commission and members of our industry can reform regulation while preserving the important interests in market integrity and customer protection that have made the US futures markets the strongest, most competitive and most innovative in the world.