The Securities and Exchange Commission, which has been after public companies to tighten their internal controls as mandated by Sarbanes-Oxley, needs to do some tightening itself, according to the Government Accountability Office.

A GAO audit of the SEC's fiscal year 2004 financial statements gave the securities regulator a clean audit opinion, but said that the commission didn't maintain effective internal control over financial reporting because of material weaknesses in recording and reporting disgorgements and penalties, preparing financial statements and related disclosures, and information security.

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