The SEC has finally posted a notice about its operating status in the event of a government shutdown. If there is a shutdown “after January 19, the SEC will remain open for a limited number of days, fully staffed and focused on the agency’s mission.
“Any changes to the SEC’s operational status will be announced [on the SEC homepage.] In the event that the SEC does shut down, we will pursue the agency’s plan for operating during a shutdown. As that plan contemplates, we are currently making preparations for a potential shutdown with a focus on the market integrity and investor protection components of our mission.”
There is no indication about how long the SEC could stay open fully staffed. The plan referenced above covers a lapse in appropriations that results in a total SEC shutdown, but does not address a partial shutdown, which would occur in the event the SEC still has some funds available, but not enough to maintain full operations over a full quarter. You might recall that in 2013, the SEC did have sufficient remaining funds to allow it avoid a complete shutdown for the duration of the government shutdown.
Key point in the SEC operating plan: EDGAR “will remain fully functional as long as funding for the contractor remains available through permitted means. SEC personnel will be able to process requests for EDGAR access codes and password resets; answer questions about fee-bearing EDGAR filings and other emergency questions regarding EDGAR submissions. However, 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 Division and Office activities. As a result, new or pending registration statements or applications for exemptive relief will not be processed regardless of the status of any review of those filings.” [Emphasis added.] Plan accordingly.