17 CFR 400.2 - Office responsible for regulations; filing of requests for exemptions, for interpretations and of other materials.
(a) Office responsible. The regulations in this chapter are promulgated by the Assistant Secretary (Domestic Finance) pursuant to a delegation of authority from the Secretary of the Treasury. The office responsible for implementing the regulations, including interpretations and action on requests for exemption, classification, or modification, is the Office of the Commissioner, Bureau of the Fiscal Service.
(1) Exemptions and classifications. Section 15C(a)(4) of the Act (15 U.S.C. 78o-5(a)(4)) authorizes the Secretary to exempt any government securities broker or dealer or class thereof, conditionally or unconditionally, from the requirements of registration or regulations promulgated under section 15C. In addition, section 15C(b)(3) of the Act (15 U.S.C. 78o-5(b)(3)) provides for classification, by the Secretary, of government securities brokers or dealers and authorizes the whole or partial exemption of classes from rules under section 15C or the application of different standards to different classes.
(2) Interpretations. Although the appropriate regulatory agencies, as defined in § 400.3, and the self-regulatory organizations, as defined in section 3(a)(26) of the Act (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(26)), have enforcement responsibility under section 15C of the Act, Treasury is responsible for interpretation of section 15C(b) of the Act (15 U.S.C. 78o-5(b)) and related sections and for interpretation and amendment of the regulations under this chapter (with the exception of Forms G-FIN and G-FINW, §§ 449.1 and 449.2 of this chapter, which are the responsibility of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System [“Board”]).
(c) Requests for interpretations, exemptions, classifications.
(1) Interpretations under this chapter may be provided, at the discretion of the Department, to firms or individuals actually or potentially affected by the Act or regulations, or to their representatives.
(2) Exemptions and classifications under sections 15C (a), (b) and (d) of the Act (15 U.S.C. 78o-5 (a), (b), and (d)) and related sections and Treasury regulations thereunder may be provided at the discretion of the Department and after consultation with the SEC and the Board, to firms or individuals actually or potentially affected by the Act or regulations, or to their representatives.
(3) All requests for exemptions and classifications, and all requests for binding interpretations, shall be in writing, and shall conform to the following procedures.
(i) The names of the company or companies and all other persons involved shall be stated. Letters pertaining to unnamed companies or persons or hypothetical situations will not be answered.
(ii) The letter must contain a concise but complete statement of all material facts, a complete and accurate description of the entire transaction if the request is transactional (even though a request may apply to only a portion of a transaction), and a concise and unambiguous statement of the request, including precise statutory and regulatory citations.
(iii) The letter shall indicate why the writer believes a problem exists or interpretation is needed, the writer's opinion on the matter, and the basis for such opinion.
(iv) In addition to requests for confidential treatment under paragraph (c)(7)(ii) of this section, a person may request confidential treatment of information that is submitted as part of, or in support of, a request for interpretation, exemption, or classification. A separate request for confidential treatment and the basis for such request shall be submitted at the time the information for which confidential treatment is requested is submitted. The request for confidential treatment must specifically identify the information for which such confidential treatment is requested. To the extent practicable, the information should be segregated from information for which confidential treatment is not requested and should be clearly marked as confidential.
(v) Information designated as confidential in accordance with paragraph (c)(3)(iv) of this section shall not be disclosed to a person requesting such information other than in accordance with the procedures outlined in the Department's regulations published at 31 CFR 1.6.
(vi) An original and two copies of each request letter shall be submitted to the Office of the Commissioner, Government Securities Regulations Staff, Bureau of the Fiscal Service, 5th Floor, 401 14th Street SW., Washington, DC 20227. The envelope shall be marked “Government Securities Act Request.” The letter shall indicate in the upper right hand corner of the first page the particular sections of the Act and of the regulations at issue.
(4) A written response by the Department to a request filed as stated in paragraph (c)(3) of this section shall be binding, with respect to the requester, on the Department, but shall cease to be binding if the facts are not as stated in the request or, prospectively, if the Department issues a superseding interpretation. In responding to such a request, the Department will, where appropriate, consult with and may obtain the formal concurrence of the appropriate regulatory agencies or their staffs. The Department understands that even if formal concurrence is not received the appropriate regulatory agencies and self-regulatory organizations will give appropriate deference to binding interpretations of the Department. The Department also expects the SEC staff to reflect such interpretations in responding, pursuant to the established procedures of the Commission, to no-action requests concerning rules the SEC enforces.
(5) The Department may decline to issue an interpretation for any reason and, in particular, may require that a requester make inquiry of its appropriate regulatory agency, the Commission or designated examining authority before the Department responds to a request.
(6) The Department will also provide informal oral and written advice, but such advice is not binding on the Department or on any other agency or organization.
(i) Except as provided in paragraphs (c)(3)(iv) and (c)(7)(ii) of this section, every letter or other written communication requesting the Department to provide interpretive legal advice under the Act or to grant, deny or modify an exemption, classification or modification of the regulations, together with any written response thereto, shall be made available for inspection and copying as soon as practicable after the response has been sent or given to the person requesting it. These documents will be made available at the following location: Treasury Department Library, 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Annex, Room 1020, Washington, DC 20220.
(ii) Any person submitting a letter or communication may also simultaneously submit a request that the letter or communication and the Department's response be accorded confidential treatment for a specified period of time not to exceed 120 days from the date the response has been made or given to such person. The request shall state the basis upon which the request for confidential treatment has been made. If the Department determines that the request for confidential treatment should be denied, the requester will be given 30 days to withdraw either the request for confidential treatment or the letter or communication requesting an interpretation, classification, or exemption.
(d) Effect of Commission interpretations. Interpretations of the Commission and its staff (including no-action positions) and of the designated examining authorities, of any Commission regulation expressly adopted by reference in these regulations shall be of the same effect as if the regulation being interpreted were solely the Commission's regulation. However, in the event the Treasury has issued a formal interpretation on the subject, the Treasury understands that the Commission will give that interpretation appropriate deference, particularly with respect to both subsequent no-action positions and the continued validity of prior no-action positions.