As a result of the United States Congress not adopting an appropriations bill or a continuing resolution to fund specific government departments, agencies or functions, certain federal agencies are currently subject to a partial government shutdown. Below is an overview of how the partial federal government shutdown is affecting financial or other major regulatory agencies:
Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”)
The SEC is operating on a limited staff who are available to respond to emergency situations involving market integrity and investor protection, including law enforcement.
During the partial government shutdown, the SEC’s online database, EDGAR, will continue to accept registration statements, offering statements and other filings. During the shutdown, however, the SEC will not declare registration statements effective nor qualify Form 1-A offering statements.
The major functions discontinued at the SEC include:
- Law Enforcement/Litigation: Investigative work, including commencing investigations and conducting investigative testimony, except for ongoing litigation that cannot be deferred where there is threat to property and emergency examinations and inspection to protect public and private property.
- Processing and Approvals of Filings and Registrations by Registrants and Regulated Entities
- Rulemaking/Interpretive Questions/Exemptive Relief
- Routine Oversight of Self-Regulatory Organizations and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board
- International Matters: Non-emergency assistance to foreign authorities under bilateral or multilateral agreements or participation in working groups
The SEC has released a detailed memo on the shutdown which is available here.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”)
The vast majority of the CFTC’s operations have ceased. At the CFTC, only about 61 employees, or 9.1% of the CFTC staff, are working. This limited staff is on hand to “perform oversight and surveillance of the futures markets, clearinghouses, and intermediaries.”
A small subset of enforcement staff are also working to oversee active litigation. Most other CFTC operations have lapsed, including work on rulemakings and commodity markets reports, such as the Commitments of Traders Reports.
The full text of the CFTC shutdown memo is available here.
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”)
FERC is operating normally. Although an independent agency, it officially is part of the Department of Energy and is not affected by the partial government shutdown.
Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”)
The FTC is closed during the shutdown. The following services continue to be available during the shutdown:
- Hart-Scott-Rodino Filings (“HSR”) – The Premerger Notification Office and the DOJ’s Premerger Office will receive HSR filings.
- Public comments, E-Filings and FOIA requests continue to be received but may experience a delay in being reviewed.
Other Federal Banking Agencies
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency are not affected by the current government shutdown.