The Feb. 23 edition of the New York Times reported that new SEC chairwoman Mary Schapiro is looking to the law enforcement and intelligence communities to help identify potential investigations and strengthen enforcement actions. She has retained Mitre Corp. to design a computerized enforcement tip management system. This is smart management.

Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme would have been uncovered by the Securities and Exchange Commission years earlier if the multiple clues in its databases could have been pulled together using sophisticated query technology. The right software can find the clues and informant leads in different databases in close to real time. If the SEC enforcement lawyers had the right information technology tools, they would have nailed Madoff years earlier.

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