Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations
The Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations ("OCIE") protects investors through administering the SEC's nationwide examination and inspection program. Examiners in Washington DC and in the Commission's 11 regional offices conduct examinations of the nation's registered entities, including self-regulatory organizations, broker-dealers, transfer agents, investment companies and investment advisers. The purpose of examinations is to detect fraud and other violations of the securities laws, foster compliance with those laws, and help ensure that the Commission is continually made aware of developments and areas of potential risk in the securities industry. The examination program plays a critical role in encouraging compliance within the securities industry, which in turn also helps to protect investors and the securities markets generally.
Due to the complexity of topics and the highly sophisticated nature of the entities OCIE oversees, OCIE's Staff is comprised of people with a diverse range of academic and professional training, such as attorneys, accountants, MBAs, and former securities industry professionals. Staff projects are frequently conducted by inspection or examination "teams" in order to draw upon these various disciplines, allowing for more effective analysis and resolution of potential compliance breaches and/or securities violations. OCIE may quickly and informally notify registered entities of compliance problems so they can take corrective action, issue "deficiency letters" in the event problems are identified, refer more egregious violations to the Division of Enforcement, and/or refer examination findings to the Commission or its Divisions to assist in policy or rulemaking consideration. OCIE's national exam program protects and benefits the investing public and the national financial markets through its continual review of an ever-changing securities industry.