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From Securities Regulation Daily, January 28, 2019

SEC details plans for resuming normal operations after shutdown

By Lene Powell, J.D.

Although the agency has reopened, response times may be longer than normal. Absent compelling circumstances, major Divisions will largely address filings, submissions, and guidance requests in the order received. CFTC also reopens.

After a deal was reached to reopen the Federal government through February 15, Chairman Jay Clayton welcomed back the SEC’s approximately 4,500 employees to their posts in the Washington, D.C. home office and 11 regional offices. The Divisions of Corporation Finance, Trading and Markets, Investment Management and Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations explained how they will process backlogged items and provided contact information for questions.

Division of Corporation Finance. Noting that response time may be longer than ordinary, the Division instructed companies to contact CFEmergency@sec.gov if expedited treatment is needed or requests for guidance or regulatory relief have become more urgent during the shutdown. Relating to delaying amendments omitted or removed pursuant to shutdown instructions, the Division will consider requests to accelerate the effective date of registration statements under certain circumstances. The Division will respond to requests for no-action guidance relating to shareholder proposals in the order received, but companies should notify the staff at shareholderproposals@sec.gov as soon as possible of any timing constraints or changes in circumstances that could help prioritize responses.

Division of Trading and Markets. Because the definition of "business day" excludes days during a shutdown, all SRO rule filings submitted to the Electronic Form Filing System (EFFS) during the period starting after the close of business on December 26, 2018 and ending before the open of business on January 28, 2019 shall be deemed filed with the EFFS as of January 28, 2019. Requests for expedited treatment should be directed to TMemergency@sec.gov or 202-551-5500.

Division of Investment Management. Relating to delaying amendments omitted or removed pursuant to shutdown instructions, the Division will consider requests to accelerate the effective date of registration statements under certain circumstances. In general, response time for guidance requests and questions may be longer than normal. Companies should notify staff at IMshareholderproposals@sec.gov as soon as possible of any timing constraints or changes in circumstances that could help prioritize responses.

Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations. OCIE anticipates resuming examinations and will communicate with registrants about rescheduling postponed examinations as well as completing in-progress examinations in the coming weeks. The Division OCIE generally expects to address matters in the order in which they were received, particularly new registrations, but requests for expedited treatment may be directed to OCIEemergency@sec.gov.

Information for contractors. All contracts are now in full performance (no suspension) and should be back to normal operations as soon as possible. Contractors should contact their CORs and CO's to renew normal operations and find solutions to problems caused by the lapse in appropriation.

CFTC. CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo said in a statement that "[w]hile the lapse in appropriations meant that much of the CFTC's work was required by law to cease, the CFTC continued to perform essential market-critical functions throughout the shutdown." He praised all of the agency’s commissioners for helping to promote the "bipartisan common sense" by which the agency operated during the shutdown. Giancarlo also said the CFTC will soon provide updates on its return to full functioning, including the publication of market data.

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