Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations ("OCIE") mission is to
protect investors through its nationwide examination and inspection program. Examiners
in Washington DC and in the SEC's 11 regional offices conduct examinations of
the nation's registered entities. Besides investment advisers, OCIE also
examines broker-dealers, transfer agents, investment companies, the national
securities exchanges, clearing agencies, the nationally recognized statistical
rating organizations, SROs (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the
Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board), and the Public Company Accounting
Oversight Board. That's a lot of ground to cover.
OCIE recently released its National Exam
Program Overview (.pdf). The first 23 pages ramble on about the statutory
and regulatory framework. The good stuff starts on page 24 with a description
of the inspection and examination process.
The staff may identify compliance deficiencies or
internal control weaknesses. If this is the case, the staff generally will
provide the registrant with a deficiency letter identifying the problems,
asking the registrant to take remedial steps, and requesting that the
registrant provide a written response. Examinations often conclude with a
It's a good roadmap to help prepare your firm for when
the SEC inevitably comes knocking on your door.
additional commentary on developments in compliance and ethics, visit Compliance Building,
a blog hosted by Doug Cornelius.
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