Enforcement and Inspection, Regulatory Developments

SEC Reopens Comment Periods Due to Computer Glitch

A computer glitch that caused some public comments not to be received by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has resulted in the agency’s reopening the comment period for 11 proposed rulemakings and one  request for comment. One of the impacted proposed rulemakings is the controversial climate-related disclosures, The Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors Release Nos. 33-11042, 34-94478 (Apr. 11, 2022).

To ensure that anyone who might have been affected by the technical problem has a chance to resubmit his or her comment, the comment periods for the affected releases will be reopened for 14 days from republication in the Federal Register.

All commenters who submitted a public comment to one of the affected comment files through the Internet comment form between June 2021 and August 2022 are advised to check the relevant comment file on SEC.gov to determine whether their comment was received and posted. If a comment has not been posted, commenters should resubmit that comment.

“The SEC under Chair Gary Gensler has drawn criticism for the broad scope and sheer number of its rulemaking releases, as well as for a perception that it is rushing through the rulemaking process,” reports Reuters.

“Fewer than 200 comments of the more than 25,000 unique public comments and 45,000 form letters between June 2021 and August 2022 the SEC received are believed to have been affected,” Reuters adds. “The regulator said its staff have received and posted about 90% of the comments that commenters unsuccessfully tried to submit using the agency’s internet comment form.”

The deadline for those who wish to resubmit comments (or submit new comments) is November 1, 2022. Interested parties should act quickly.New comments can be submitted electronically on the SEC Proposed Rules website.