The U.S. Chamber of Commerce writes regarding the October 7 notice from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reopening the comment period for 12 comment files due to a recently discovered technological error in the SEC’s Internet comment form (“Reopening Notice” or “Notice”). The SEC has so far determined that the error affected comment letter submissions as far back as June 2021.
This unprecedented and troubling development comes at an unfortunate time for the SEC. Over the last 18 months, the SEC has pushed the envelope in terms of both policy and process with its regulatory agenda. The SEC has issued nearly three dozen rule proposals during this period, including several that rely on questionable assertions of legal authority, and which would collectively impose billions of dollars in compliance costs on a fragile economy. Equally as concerning, the SEC has proactively sought to limit public feedback by providing arbitrarily truncated comment periods for most proposals. The prioritization of speed and volume over quality has weakened the SEC’s longstanding reputation as an independent and apolitical regulator. These concerns were recently vocalized in the SEC Inspector General’s report on staff sentiments.