SEC resumes normal operations following 30-day US Govt shutdown

Maria Nikolova

The SEC’s approximately 4,500 employees are now returning to their posts in the Washington, D.C. home office and its 11 regional offices.

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is recommencing normal operations following the 30-day US Government shutdown.

In a statement, Chairman Jay Clayton explained that over the past 30 days, with a limited staff, the SEC followed its Operations Plan Under a Lapse in Appropriations and Government Shutdown. This plan focused on monitoring the functioning of the markets and, as necessary to prevent imminent threats to property, taking action.

The SEC’s approximately 4,500 employees are now returning to their posts in the Washington, D.C. home office and its 11 regional offices. The leaders of the SEC’s Divisions and Offices, in consultation with various members of its staff, are continuing to assess how to most effectively transition to normal operations. Certain of these Divisions and Offices, including the SEC’s Divisions of Corporation Finance, Trading and Markets, Investment Management and the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, are set to publish statements in the coming days regarding their transition plans.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is currently open and fully staffed.

The SEC informs contractors that, with a short term Continuing Resolution signed into place, all contracts are now in full performance (no suspension) and should be back to normal operations as soon as possible.

The work of a number of US government bodies overseeing the financial services sector has been affected by the government shutdown. This, in turn, has affected a raft of legal proceedings. In late December 2018, for instance, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) sought to stay actions against binary options and virtual currency fraudsters. The list of halted proceedings continued to grow during the shutdown. Early in January, the Illinois Northern District Court issued orders extending the stay of the cases targeting traders accused of spoofing – Jiongsheng Zhao, James Vorley and Cedric Chanu. In both cases, the orders were explained by the lapse of congressional appropriations funding the federal government.

State securities regulators, however, were left unaffected by the shutdown, as explained in a recent announcement by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA).

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