SEC FOIA Process Steps Into Century–Will it Stay Post-COVID?

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently modified its process for requesting confidential treatment under Rule 83. As a background, Rule 83 provides a procedure for investment advisers to request that information submitted during an examination, inspection, or investigation be withheld when requested under the Freedom of Information Act. The recent guidance now permits persons to submit requests by email as opposed to written mail delivered to the Office of Freedom of Information and Privacy Act Operations. That exact guidance is provided below:

In light of the current outbreak of coronavirus disease 19 (“COVID-19”), the Office of FOIA Services (OFS) recognizes that it may be impracticable for submitters of confidential treatment requests to comply with Rule 83 by faxing or mailing in their CT requests. To assist, OFS is temporarily allowing for submission of confidential treatment requests electronically via email. Submitters may send their confidential treatment requests to Confidential treatment requesters should also be aware that OFS is still accepting facsimile and hard copy submissions; however, during this time OFS may experience lengthy delays in receiving U.S. Mail, UPS/FedEx, and/or courier deliveries.

Please be advised that the mailbox should be used only for submission of the request letter and not for the records for which confidential treatment is sought.

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