Anticipating a potential government shutdown on Oct. 1, the Securities and Exchange Commission has published an “operational plan," to help explain which services will be suspended, reduced, or maintained.
When a shutdown of SEC operations is imminent, the agency Contingency Planning Committee, acting on behalf of the Chairman, will determine which employees should be excepted from furlough because their duties qualify as exceptions to Antideficiency Act restrictions. In case of an extended furlough, SEC management will review whether it has adequate staff to meet critical needs.
Some systems will be operating under modified conditions. Although the SEC's EDGAR filing system will remain fully functional, the Divisions of Corporation Finance, Investment Management, and Trading and Markets, and the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations will be unable to process filings, provide interpretive advice, issue no-action letters or conduct any other normal activities. New or pending registration statements or applications for exemptive relief will not be processed.??
OCIE will be unable to approve applications for registration by investment advisers and the Division of Investment Management will be unable to provide interpretive advice regarding the Advisers Act, rules, or forms, or consider applications for exemptive relief under the Advisers Act. As a result, new or pending investment adviser applications will not be processed. The Investment Adviser Registration Depository (IARD) system will continue to accept amendments to Form ADV, Form ADV-W, and Form ADV-E filings.
The Division of Trading and Markets and the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations will not be able to review pending filings, consider new or pending applications or registrations, provide interpretive advice, or issue no-action letters.
The EFFS system for proposed self-regulatory organization rule changes will remain functional. Under Exchange Act Rule 19b-4, any day on which the Commission is not open for regular business as a result of a lapse in appropriations is not a "business day.” As a result, any SRO proposed rule change submitted on a day the Commission is not open for regular business will have as its filing date posted on the next business day after a shutdown has ended.
The Division of Enforcement will have only a limited number of staff on duty to perform critical functions. Staff will attempt to respond to certain critical matters, including allegations of ongoing fraud and misconduct. Website submissions for tips, complaints, and referrals will continue to be operational and reviewed for appropriate action.
The Commission will continue to accept comment letters during a government shutdown, but there will be delays in posting them to the SEC website.