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WASHINGTON — House Financial Services Committee leaders have requested a Government Accountability Office study of the mission and operational capacity of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and the increasing number of Bank Secrecy Act-related filings.

The request to the GAO was prompted by issues raised at a May 10, 2007 hearing in the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, which was the first of a series of hearings on the subject of balancing law enforcement utility and regulatory requirements of BSA reporting. FinCEN was initially envisioned as a government-wide, service-oriented, financial information-sharing agency, the letter signed by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Ranking Member Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), and committee member Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) said. With law enforcement now being able to collect all this information on its own, duplication of efforts is a possibility, the letter pointed out.

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