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News November 8, 2004 Issue

Call Me! Anytime! Says Walsh

Communication from the industry is key to ensuring the effectiveness of the SECís examination program, said OCIE general counsel John Walsh, speaking at the recent NSCP conference.

"If you see a risk, please pick up the phone and give us a call," he said. "We would really like to hear from you." He acknowledged that different people might have different motivations for making the call. Some, he said, might want to report a risk out of concern for the industry, along the lines of: "I see this, Iím in the business, I donít want the business to be hurt." Others, he said, might call to report that the "competition down the street is doing something that I think is illegal" and that "I am getting terrible pressure from my business people to do the same thing so I can beat that competition." When confronted with such a situation, said Walsh, one of the options that compliance officers should consider "is calling us."

As he did at the NRS conference, Walsh gave out his direct number: (202) 942-7407.

Walsh said he also would welcome calls about examination-related issues. "We have a pretty big program. We have a lot of different offices. We do a lot of examinations in a year. I would like to think we are perfect, but we are not." He urged people to contact him if issues arise during an exam. "We certainly will not hold it against you."