WASHINGTON - The General Accounting Office will release its long-awaited report on derivatives on May 18, an agency official said yesterday.

The report, which is expected to highlight gaps in the federal regulatory oversight of derivatives, will be the subject of hearings by the Energy and Commerce Committee's subcommittee on telecommunications and finance and other congressional committees.

The General Accounting Office briefed federal agency officials on the report yesterday and is expected soon to hold a similar briefing for derivatives market participants who helped provide information for the report, sources said.

In its report, the GAO is expected to limit its definition of derivatives to include futures, forwards, swaps, options, and combinations of them, as has done the Group of Thirty, a group of international financial experts.

Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on telecommunications and finance, asked for the derivatives report in the spring of 1992. Sen. Donald Riegle, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, and other House and Senate members made similar requests.

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