SEC wants to automate complaint process
- By Bryant Jordan
- Jun 15, 2000
The Securities and Exchange Commission is looking for a better and faster
way to handle the thousands of complaints it receives each year from the
Since April it has been searching for a commercial software program
that will scan all complaints no matter how they are delivered to the
SEC into an electronic record and also permit specific authorized users
to access them by using a browser.
"We want [a complaint] in a format we can roll into the database and,
with programming, direct it to the appropriate staff person for handling,"
said John Gannon, deputy director of the SEC's office of investor education
and assistance. "The goal is to have better service for the investor. The
faster we get something into the system, the faster we can respond to a
Every year some 72,000 complaints pour into the SEC by regular mail
and e-mail, by fax and phone and by World Wide Web forms available on the
agency's Web site (www.sec.gov).
All the complaints go into a database, a process that now requires many
to be entered manually a labor-intensive, time-consuming burden, according
The agency has issued a request for proposals to companies on the General
Services Administration's schedule. The SEC hopes to have proposals in by
June 23, according to Linda Sudhoff, contracting officer for the SEC.
The earliest the agency could make an award would be 30 days later,
"I think there is some off-the-shelf software available that may have
to be customized for our use, based on what vendors have told us," Gannon