On April 5, 2022, the Commission issued a Statement Relating to Certain Administrative Adjudications (the “April 5 Statement”) describing a control deficiency related to the separation of enforcement and adjudicatory functions within the agency’s system for administrative adjudication. As the April 5 Statement explained, for a period of time, certain databases maintained by our Office of the Secretary (“OS”) were not configured to restrict access by staff from our Division of Enforcement (“Enforcement”) to memoranda drafted by staff from the Adjudication Group (“Adjudication”) in our Office of the General Counsel (“OGC”). As a result, in a number of adjudicatory matters, administrative support staff from Enforcement responsible for maintaining Enforcement’s case files accessed Adjudication memoranda via OS’s databases. In many instances, those administrative staff also emailed Adjudication memoranda to other administrative staff for potential upload to Enforcement databases; once uploaded, the memoranda became accessible more broadly to Enforcement staff.
When it was discovered that Enforcement staff had access to Adjudication memoranda, the Commissioners were notified, as was the Commission’s Office of Inspector General. As the April 5 Statement explained, the Chair immediately directed the implementation of remedial measures, including enhanced access controls, to ensure that Enforcement staff would no longer be able to access these memoranda in the OS databases or through the Enforcement databases to which they may have been uploaded….
‘Enforcement 40’ for 2020
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