Securities and Exchange Commission:

Delays in Processing Time-Sensitive Stock Filings

GGD-93-130: Published: Aug 18, 1993. Publicly Released: Aug 18, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) processing of time-sensitive securities market information.

GAO found that: (1) SEC discloses time-sensitive securities information to the public within 1 business day after it receives the filings; (2) SEC took 2 or more business days to process about 16 percent of the filings it received by mail during the first quarter of 1993; (3) SEC mail room personnel have no written instructions or procedures for processing time-sensitive filings; and (4) SEC has changed its mail room procedures to improve the handling of time-sensitive filings.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Procedural and personnel changes have resulted in no further delays in the processing of time-sensitive stock filings. SEC continues to monitor the timely processing of these filings to ensure full and timely disclosure to the public. EDGAR appears to be on schedule and is operating with over half of the filers on board. EDGAR is expected to be fully operational by 1996. All filings will be done electronically, thereby avoiding the mailroom processing center. SEC officials said that they used GAO's recommendation to implement a separate post office box to improve the receipt and processing of correspondence being forwarded to SEC's Enforcement Unit.

    Recommendation: If the volume of mail received in the mail room and mail room personnel performance problems continue to delay time-sensitive filings longer than 1 business day, the Chairman, SEC, should consider implementing a separate post office box or some other appropriate alternative to ensure that the public receives timely disclosure of sensitive securities market information.

    Agency Affected: United States Securities and Exchange Commission

 

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