OATS Frequently Asked Questions - Technical

T1. How can I get a copy of the OATS Reporting Technical Specifications?

An updated version of the Technical Specifications is available. Click here to read the latest version of the document. To request copies of the document via e-mail or mail, contact FINRA Business and Technology Support Services . (Last updated 06/13/02)

 

T2. What is required of FINRA member firms now that OATS has been implemented?

If a FINRA member firm handles or executes orders in NASDAQ or OTC listed securities, it has OATS reporting responsibilities. Member firms with reporting responsibilities will be required to develop a means for electronically capturing and reporting data on specific events in the life cycle of orders for NASDAQ and OTC listed securities or contracting with one or more third parties to electronically capture and report the data. Click here to read or download FINRA Rules 7410 through 7470.

 

The OATS Reporting Technical Specifications provide firms with record and file formats and transmission requirements. (NOTE: The Technical Specifications do not tell you how to develop a system to deliver order information to FINRA. They only tell you what the system must deliver.) (Last updated 03/30/09)

 

T3. Which orders must be reported to OATS?

Member firms must report oral, written, or electronic instructions to initiate a buy or sell transaction in a NASDAQ or OTC listed security, including orders received from a customer, another member firm, or another department within the same firm. In addition, member firms must report the routing of orders to another member firm, another department of the same firm, or an ECN, and the modification, cancellation, and execution of orders. ECNs are required to report every order they receive, even if the order is placed by a market maker in a security. For example, if a market maker in Oracle placed an order with an ECN, the ECN would report receipt of the order to OATS.

 

NOTE: Member firms are not required to report modifications to orders that have been routed to an ECN and modified by a trader, as opposed to modified by a customer, if the ECN is reporting each of the modifications to OATS. However, member firms must report all customer-requested modifcations to orders. 

 

Members are not required to report instructions to effect a proprietary transaction originated by a trading desk in the ordinary course of a member's market making activities. (Last updated 03/30/09)

 

T4. Are only executed orders reported to OATS?

All orders for NASDAQ and OTC listed securities must be reported to OATS, including open orders, orders that have been modified, orders that have been partially executed, and canceled orders. However, members are not required to report instructions to effect a proprietary transaction originated by a trading desk in the ordinary course of a member's market making activities. (Last updated 03/30/09)

 

T5. Am I required to file an Execution Report for a "busted" trade?

No, it is not necessary to submit an Execution Report for a "busted" trade. Firms are only required to file an Execution Report for the correct execution. In addition, if the Execution Report has already been submitted to OATS, it is not necessary to file a deletion for the Execution Report, because OATS will link the execution to the "busted" trade in ACT. (Last updated 07/06/98)

 

T6. Will I need to report the execution if it occurred via NASDAQ?

No, you would not need to report the execution; you would only need to report the New Order and the Route to NASDAQ. (Last updated 9/14/07)

 

T7. Are orders initiated but not executed or canceled prior to the effective date of the rules reportable?

Only order information for orders originated on or after the appropriate Implementation Date are required to be retained under the OATS Rules. Only order information for orders originated on or after your assigned Reporting Date should be transmitted to the OATS production environment.

 

Remember that any order reports that are not related to an existing New Order Report in OATS will be rejected. Thus, Desk, Routing, Execution, Cancel/Replace, or Cancel Reports submitted to OATS for orders received before your assigned Reporting Date will be rejected. Rejections that occur as a result of submissions of order reports related to an order received before your Reporting Date are not required to be repaired in OATS; however, they will be considered rejections in OATS Statistics.

 

You have the option, when you begin reporting to OATS, to file a New Order Report for an order that was originated prior to your Reporting Date. This will allow all future Routing, Execution, Cancel/Replace, and Cancel Reports to match with a New Order Report in OATS. This option for OATS submissions should in no way be construed as permission to change the way an order is handled within your firm. An open order should not be canceled simply to facilitate OATS reporting. Contact your compliance department if you have any questions regarding the interaction between order handling and OATS reporting. (Last updated 05/07/99)

 

T8. Do member firms have to report order information to FINRA on a real-time basis?

No, real-time reporting is not a requirement of OATS. Instead, order data can be collected during the day and transmitted to OATS in one or more files at a convenient time, during the day or after market close. However, reports for events that occur during a particular OATS Business Day must be reported by 5:00 a.m. Eastern Time the following calendar day or they are marked late by FINRA. The OATS Reporting Technical Specifications provide additional information regarding how and when data can be transmitted to OATS. (Last updated 9/14/07)

 

T9. What are the mechanisms for reporting to OATS?

FINRA provides three mechanisms for submitting files: FTP via a private network, IFT (Internet File Transfer) and the Web via a browser interface. These mechanisms are described in the OATS Reporting Technical Specifications . (Last updated 1/14/10)

 

T10. What is the deadline for OATS reporting?

Events that occur during a particular OATS Business Day must be reported by 5:00:00 a.m., Eastern Time (ET) the following calendar day or they are marked late by FINRA. For example, an order received at 2:00:00 p.m., ET on Thursday must be reported to OATS by Friday at 5:00:00 a.m., ET or be marked late by FINRA, and an order received at 10:00:00 p.m., ET on Friday must be reported by Tuesday at 5:00:00 a.m., ET or be marked late by FINRA. Corrections or deletions must be reported within five days of the original submission (except for the New Order Reports with a Time in Force Code of GTD or GTC; corrections and deletions for these reports must be reported within one year.) (Last updated 9/14/07)

 

T11. What are the hours for reporting to OATS?

OATS will accept files 24 hours a day, 5 days a week, from 8 a.m., Eastern Time (ET) Monday to 8 a.m., ET Saturday. Reports for events that occur during a particular OATS Business Day must be reported by 5:00 a.m., ET the following calendar day or they are marked late by FINRA. (Last updated 05/16/00)

 

T13. What will happen if I submit order information for a security other than a NASDAQ or OTC listed security?

Any order information for a security other than a NASDAQ or OTC listed securities will be rejected by OATS. However, the entire FORE will not be rejected; only the ROE containing the invalid issue symbol will be rejected. Rejections that occur as a result of submissions of orders for non-reportable securities cannot be repaired in OATS; however, they are considered rejections in OATS Reporting Statistics. Firms that demonstrate a pattern of submitting non-OATS reportable securities to OATS may be subject to disciplinary action. For additional information, read the Technical Specifications. (Last updated 03/30/09)

 

T14. If one ROE in a file is unacceptable, will the whole file be rejected?

No. Files are only rejected for mistakes in the header or trailer record. If an individual ROE is unacceptable, only that record will be rejected and require repair. See Section 6 and Appendix B in the OATS Reporting Technical Specifications for additional information on Feedback and Corrections and Error Messages. For more information, read the Technical Specifications. (Last updated 07/06/98)

 

T15. When will ROE rejections be available?

ROE rejections are available no later than the end of the next OATS Reporting Day. For example, the rejections for ROEs that are generated on Friday’s OATS Business Day, and transmitted to OATS by 5 a.m. Saturday, will be available on the OATS Web interface by Tuesday morning at 5 a.m. and ROES that were generated on Monday’s OATS Business Day and transmitted to OATS by 5 a.m. Tuesday, will be available on the OATS Web interface by Wednesday at 5 a.m. (Rejected ROEs may be available before the times listed above. To determine if ROE processing has finished, check the ROE Context and Duplicate Processing End Timestamp listed in the status of the related FORE. ROE rejections are not posted to the OATS Web interface until after this processing is complete.) All repairable rejected ROEs must be repaired and resubmitted within 5 days after a related New Order Report is accepted or they will be rejected by the system upon resubmissison. (Last updated 1/14/10)

 

T16. How do I correct a rejected ROE?

There are two ways to repair a rejected ROE. The first way is to correct the problem, regenerate the repaired record, package it in a new file, and submit the new file to OATS. Events from different days can be commingled in one file. The second way is to make the repair via the Web. Always set the Rejected ROE Resubmit Flag to "Y" when you are submitting a repaired ROE that was previously rejected by OATS. Leave the Action Type Code the same as it was in the original submission. For additional information, refer to the OATS Reporting Technical Specifications . (Last updated 05/07/99)

 

T17. Must my firm have access to the Web? All firms must have access to the OATS Web interface in order to receive information about file and record rejections, statistics about order reporting, and OATS announcements. OATS also provides the capability to correct rejections and enter order data via the Web. In order to use the OATS Web interface, firms must register for OATS and use a browser that is 128-bit encrypted (the non-export version). All firms should obtain access to the OATS Web interface before their assigned Reporting Date in order to become familiar with its functionality and to allow them to test their reporting software with OATS. If a firm is using one or more third parties for reporting, it must work closely with those organizations in the OATS testing environment to resolve any issues before it begins reporting to the OATS production environment. For additional information, refer to the OATS Reporting Technical Specifications and the OATS Web Interface Guide. (Last updated 05/07/99)

 

T18. Will FINRA provide some type of software/workstation for members to transmit the required order data?

Yes, FINRA provides a Web interface that allows firms to manually type and transmit the required order data. (This is only appropriate for firms that will submit fewer than 100 order reports per day.) There are no other plans to provide members with software or a workstation to transmit the required data. FINRA has provided OATS Reporting Technical Specifications to member firms describing how to transmit data to FINRA, acceptable communication protocols, data and file formatting, and file transfer procedures. (Last updated 12/17/99)

 

T19. What date and timestamp do I use for an order that my client submits on May 14 at 10:00:01 a.m. local time in Japan?

All timestamps reported to OATS must be in Eastern Time. Therefore, if your client submitted an order to you on May 14 at 10:00:01 (10:00:01 a.m.) local time in Japan, the date and timestamp required to be submitted to OATS would be 19990513 (May 13, 1999) and 210001 (9:00:01 p.m.) Eastern Time. (Last updated 11/24/98)

 

T20. Do I have to report times in Eastern Time?

Yes. All timestamps must be reported to OATS in Eastern Time, in order to allow FINRA to link order events. For additional information, refer to the OATS Reporting Technical Specifications . (Last updated 07/17/98)

 

T21. How should an order be identified when the broker (as opposed to the trader) has price and time discretion?

An order submitted by a customer who gives the broker discretion as to the price and time of execution is denoted as a "Not Held" order. For OATS, the definition of a "trader" in the context of a "Not Held" order is extended to the broker. (Last updated 02/16/99)

 

T22. When would I submit a Correction?

Firms should submit a Correction to OATS only if they discover a mistake, such as a data entry error, in a ROE that has already been submitted to OATS and accepted by the system. Corrections should never be used to reflect a change requested by a customer. For example, if an order quantity is mistakenly entered as 100 rather than 1,000, the firm should correct the error via a Correction. However, if the customer requests that an order quantity be changed from 100 to 1,000 shares, the firm must instead generate a Cancel/Replace Report. (NOTE: A Correction is not the same as a Repair. Firms must "repair" rejected records; they must "correct" accepted records.) Corrections must be transmitted to OATS within 5 days of the original submission or they will be rejected by the system.

 

Specific procedures must be adhered to when submitting a Correction. Refer to the OATS Reporting Technical Specifications for these procedures. (Last updated 05/07/99)

 

T23. When would I submit a Deletion?

Firms should submit a Deletion to OATS only if they discover that an ROE was mistakenly sent to OATS and accepted. For example, if a firm mistakenly reports that an order was canceled when it was actually executed, a deletion should be submitted for the Cancel Report. A Deletion should also be used if a ROE is submitted to OATS with an incorrect Order Receiving Firm Order ID, Order Receiving Firm Order Received Date, or Order Receiving Firm MP ID. (NOTE: A Deletion Report will not clear a rejection from the ROE rejections windows in the OATS Web interface. Changing the rejected record’s Action Type Code to "D" and resubmitting it to OATS will simply cause another rejection.) Deletions must be transmitted to OATS within 5 days of the original submission or they will be rejected by the system.

 

Specific procedures must be adhered to when submitting a Deletion. Refer to the OATS Reporting Technical Specifications for these procedures. (Last updated 05/07/99)

 

T24. How should prices (including fractions) be recorded in OATS?

All prices must be in decimal format. The price fields are 18 numeric characters (including 8 decimal places). A price is not required to contain all 18 characters. In any price, no more than 9 characters can appear without a decimal and no more than 8 characters can appear after the decimal. For example, the following prices are valid: "125", "000000125", "000000125.00000000". Any price that contains more than 18 characters, 9 characters before a decimal, or 8 characters after a decimal will be rejected. (Last updated 1/14/10)

 

T25. We are a clearing firm. Are we required to use a separate identifier in OATS for each firm we clear for on a fully disclosed basis?

Yes. Clearing firms that contract to send data to OATS for their correspondents are required to use a separate, unique MP ID for each fully disclosed broker/dealer and submit a separate file to OATS for each of these correspondents. (Any FINRA member firm that does not have a Market Participant ID (MP ID) should contact NASDAQ Subscriber Services at (212) 231-5180, ext. #3 to obtain one.) (Last updated 1/14/10)

 

T26. Will the data I submit to OATS be secure?

FINRA implements several security mechanisms to keep data secure, including requiring User IDs and passwords and using a private network for FTP files and SSL encryption for interaction via the Web interface and IFT. (See Section 3 of the OATS Reporting Technical Specifications.

 

OSOs that transmit files on behalf of several other firms will be allowed to view status files, rejected ROEs, and statistics for all files that they submitted. Firms that submit through third-party entities will be allowed to view only their own status files, rejected ROEs, and statistics. (Last updated 1/14/10)

 

T27. If we submit OATS records for several firms, can we send them all in one file?

Yes. A FORE file may contain one or more FOREs (Header/Trailer combination). Each header/trailer combination is treated as a separate submission and receives its own FORE status, statistics and rejections, if applicable.

See Section 5 of the OATS Reporting Technical Specifications for additional information. (Last updated 06/13/02)
 

 

T28. Can an electronic order become a manual order?

If an order starts out at a firm as an electronic order, it remains an electronic order within that firm, even if it is routed or executed manually (e.g., via telephone). Thus, no report is required to indicate its change in status. The timestamp for the manual route or execution may be taken from a mechanical timestamping machine or clock that meets the requirements of NASD Rule 6953. (Last updated 11/03/98)

 

T31. For what reasons will my files (FOREs) be rejected from OATS?

Common reasons for rejections include duplicate files, and missing or invalid OSO ID, User ID, password, Market Participant Identifier (MP ID), header record type code, trailer record type code, generation date, or version description. See Section 6.1 and Appendix B of the OATS Reporting Technical Specifications for additional information. Click here to read the Technical Specifications. (Last updated 07/21/98)

 

T32. For what reasons will my records (ROEs) be rejected from OATS?

Common reasons for syntax rejections include missing mandatory fields (e.g., Action Type Code), invalid fields (e.g., a timestamp with 17 characters), and invalid field combinations (e.g., a Limit Price without a Time in Force Code). Records are rejected as duplicates if more than one record is submitted with the same Order Receiving Firm MP ID, Order Received Date, and Order ID or if more than one record contains all of the same information (i.e., you submit two Cancel Reports that contain exactly the same data). Records are rejected for context if an order report (e.g., an Execution Report) is submitted for an order (i.e., New Order Report) that does not exist in OATS. For example, if you submit an Execution Report for an order that was received before you began reporting to OATS (i.e., you never submitted a New Order Report to OATS for that order), the Execution Report would be rejected for context.  See Section 6.2 and Appendix B of the OATS Reporting Technical Specifications for additional information. (Last updated 05/07/99)

 

T33. If a member firm accepts "Fill or Kill" orders with a limit price, the OATS system requires a Time in Force Code to be provided. What Time in Force code should be used in this situation?

Members that accept "Fill or Kill" orders with limit prices or "Immediate or Cancel" orders with limit prices, should use the "DAY" Time in Force Code when reporting to OATS. (Last updated 09/08/98)

 

T34. Do I need to file Cancel Reports for expired "DAY" orders?

Any "DAY" order that remains unexecuted at the close of a market day is assumed to be canceled and no Cancel Report is required. (Last updated 09/08/98)

 

T35. What is the deadline for correcting a rejected FORE?

There is no deadline for submitting a corrected FORE; however, when a FORE is rejected, none of the ROEs within it are processed. Any of the ROEs in the rejected file that are not submitted to OATS by the established deadline will be marked late by FINRA. (Last updated 09/08/98)

 

T37. How do I report to OATS changes to orders due to dividends and distributions?

Modifications made to order quantity due to dividends and distributions are not required to be reported to OATS; however, if an order is canceled as a result of a dividend or distribution, you must report the cancellation to OATS via a Cancel Report. (Last updated 09/08/98)

 

T38. Am I required to certify before I can transmit order information to OATS?
Yes. All OSOs that are not currently transmitting data to OATS must test their systems in the OATS Test environment. OSOs that have not successfully tested in the OATS test environment will not be allowed to submit data to the production environment. For a copy of the OATS Testing Guidelines and approval criteria for the production environment contact FINRA Business and Technology Support Services . (Last updated 06/13/02)

 

T39. When will I be able to download my ROE rejections instead of just viewing them on the Web?

The capability to download ROE rejections is available via the OATS Web Interface. For more information, contact FINRA Business and Technology Support Services. (Last updated 05/07/99)

 

T40. More than one third party is submitting records to OATS on behalf of my firm. My clearing firm submits the New Order Reports and a non-member service bureau submits the Routing and Execution Reports. If my clearing firm has transmission problems, will it affect the submissions by the non-member service bureau?
Yes. OATS rejects all order reports that do not link to a New Order Report. Therefore, if your clearing firm submits all of your New Order Reports one day late and your non-member service bureau submits all of your Routing Reports on-time, your Routing Reports will not link to a New Order Report in the system. Thus, they will be rejected. Once the New Order Reports have been submitted, the Routing Reports must be resubmitted.

 

A similar circumstance will occur if a New Order Report is not submitted because the order was received or originated before a firm began reporting to OATS or if a New Order Report is rejected for any reason. If a New Order Report is rejected, all Desk, Routing, Cancel/Replace, Cancel, and Execution Reports related to this New Order Report will also be rejected. Once the New Order Report is repaired, all related reports must be resubmitted.

 

The OATS Web interface calls such rejections Context Rejections. Related ROEs that were rejected for context can be viewed as a chain and resubmitted at the same time. (Last updated 05/07/99)

 

T41. When can I start testing my OATS reporting system with FINRA?

In order to use the OATS testing environment, you must register and obtain a User ID and Password for the testing environment. In addition, parties that will submit via FTP must be connected to the private network. Parties that will submit via FTP or IFT must obtain an FTP User ID for the testing environment. Parties that will submit via the OATS Web interface must ensure that they have a browser that meets the appropriate specifications, as described in the OATS Web Interface Guide.

 

Firms should test as soon as possible before their Reporting Date, in order to ensure that they are prepared to report to the production environment. Firms that use one or more third parties to report on their behalf should pay close attention to the data that is submitted on their behalf during testing. In addition, they should use the testing process to become familiar with the OATS system and the procedures for checking file status and reporting statistics, viewing and repairing record rejections, and submitting corrections via the OATS Web interface. (Last updated 08/23/04)

 

T42. Am I required to install a back-up circuit for reporting to OATS via FTP?

There is no requirement to install a back-up circuit. Several different scenarios may apply, as follows:

If you have a short-term outage, for instance your internal network goes down during the day and you are unable to transmit before the deadline, you should note the outage in your books and records and transmit as soon as possible. In addition, you may want to contact FINRA Business and Technology Support Services to make FINRA aware of the situation.

 

If the Savvis network goes down, you should initially contact Savvis and FINRA Business and Technology Support Services to confirm that the network is down. Note the outage in your books and records and transmit to OATS as soon as possible.

 

If there is a major disaster at your facility and you are unable to report to OATS, the incident should be recorded in your books an records. There is no requirement to have a back-up circuit; however, firms may use multiple methods of transmission to OATS. For example, if a firm is unable to use the private network to transmit via FTP, it may use e-mail, IFT, the OATS Web interface, or arrange for another OSO to transmit the data to FINRA.
(Last updated 08/23/04)

 

T43. How can I obtain entitlement to OATS?

For information on OATS Entitlement please view Registration and Entitlement.

 

T44. What are the Web addresses for OATS?

The OATS Testing and Production OATS Web interfaces are available at different addresses. The testing address is https://firmstest.finra.org/. The production address is https://firms.finra.org/. The address for the production environment should only be used to report actual production data beginning on your Reporting Date. Ensure that you use the appropriate address when transmitting to OATS or viewing OATS data. Only send test data to the testing environment and production data to the production environment. (NOTE: Files and records sent to the Production environment, even accidentally, cannot be removed.)

 

Updates made to account information in one site will not affect the other environment. For example, if a user changes her password while in the production environment, this change will not affect the testing environment. A password must be changed separately within each environment. (To decrease the chance for accidentally transmitting to the wrong environment, you may want to maintain a different password in each environment.) (Last updated 03/30/09)
 

 

T45. How can I obtain access to the private network for reporting to OATS?

NOTE: DO NOT OBTAIN ACCESS TO THE PRIVATE NETWORK UNLESS YOU PLAN TO TRANSMIT DATA TO OATS VIA FTP AND YOU HAVE REGISTERED WITH OATS.

FINRA has negotiated a contract with Savvis, a major network provider, to create a frame-relay based network to connect any OSO to FINRA facilities in Rockville, MD. This network will use the TCP/IP suite and will provide 56K-bps or T-1 access from each sending location. OSOs can use the private network for file submission via FTP, file status retrieval, and access to the OATS Web Pages. The circuit used for OATS reporting is separate from all other circuits connecting to FINRA or NASDAQ and OTC listed securities.

 

Each firm will be billed separately for this service and is responsible for activating service with Savvis. (Last updated 03/30/09)

 

T46. Can I send files to OATS using FTP via the Internet?

Yes. Firms may now send files using FTP via the Internet by using the Internet File Transfer (IFT) program. (Last updated 08/23/04)

 

T47. Can I use my existing circuit to NASDAQ for transmitting to OATS?

No. You are required to use a separate circuit for your transmission to OATS. (Last updated 11/23/98)

 

T48. Will I still be able to get immediate record rejections on the OATS Web interface after I begin reporting to the OATS production system?

No. Immediate ROE rejections are only available in the OATS testing system. In the OATS production system, ROE rejections are always available on the second business day after the ROEs were transmitted to OATS. For example, the rejections for ROEs that are generated on Friday’s OATS Business Day, and transmitted to OATS by 5 a.m. Saturday, will be available on the OATS Web interface by Tuesday morning at 5 a.m. and ROES that were generated on Monday’s OATS Business Day and transmitted to OATS by 5 a.m. Tuesday, will be available on the OATS Web interface by Thursday at 5 a.m. (Rejected ROEs may be available before the times listed above. To determine if ROE processing has finished, check the ROE Context and Duplicate Processing End Timestamp listed in the status of the related FORE. ROE rejections are not posted to the OATS Web interface until after this processing is complete.) (Last updated 9/14/07)

 

T49. How can I add the Branch/Sequence number to my ACT report?

One resource for learning the procedures for ACT reporting is the ACT User Guide, which is available from www.nasdaqtrader.com . According to this guide, you can use the Nasdaq Workstation to update the branch/sequence number. Contact Nasdaq Market Operations Trading Services at (800) 219-4861 or the ACT Operations Desk at (203) 378-0166 for additional information. (Last updated 03/02/99)

 

T52. If we execute an order incorrectly and "bust" the trade in ACT, what corrections should we make to our OATS reports?
If all of the order details were reported correctly to OATS, but the trade details in ACT were incorrect and you had to "bust" the ACT report, you are not required to delete the OATS Execution Report that links to the busted ACT report. If you have not yet filed your OATS Execution Report that links to the "busted" trade, you are not required to file one. If any of the order details were reported incorrectly to OATS, you are required to correct or delete all related OATS reports. Refer to the OATS Reporting Technical Specifications for details about correcting and deleting order reports. (You must file an OATS Execution Report that links to the correct ACT report.) (Last updated 03/02/99)

 

T53. If we file a "No/Was" in ACT, what order reports do we need to file in OATS?

If order information is recorded and reported to OATS incorrectly, and the mistake is discovered and corrected after the execution, all OATS reports related to that order must be corrected. For example, a customer places an order with Market Maker A for 800 shares. Market Maker A mistakenly records the order as 1,000 shares and executes the order for 1,000 shares. After execution, Market Maker A discovers the mistake and files a "No/Was" for 800 shares. Market Maker A must correct all OATS reports to reflect the customer order for 800 shares. Refer to the OATS Reporting Technical Specifications for details about correcting order reports. If the "No/Was" changes only trade details, no changes to OATS reports are required. See T5 and T55 . (Last updated 02/19/99)t

 

T54. If we file an "As Of" in ACT, what order reports do we need to file in OATS? OATS reports should reflect order information from the time the order is originated to the time it is executed. Therefore, if a trade is filed "As Of" in ACT, the proper OATS reports must be submitted for the order that generated the trade. The Order Received Timestamp for the order should be the time the order was originally received. The Order Execution Timestamp should be the same as the execution time, not the report time, in the ACT report. If inaccurate order reports were previously submitted to OATS, these order reports must be corrected or deleted. Refer to the OATS Reporting Technical Specifications for details about correcting order reports. (Last updated 02/19/99)D

 

T55. If I am repairing a record rejection, do I need to include a Correction/Deletion Timestamp?

No. The Correction/Deletion Timestamp should only be used if you are submitting a correction or a deletion of a previously accepted order. If you are repairing a rejection, do not include this timestamp in your report. However, if you are repairing a rejection, you should set the Rejected ROE Resubmit Flag to "Y". Refer to the OATS Reporting Technical Specifications for details about correcting order reports. (Last updated 03/02/99)

 

T57. Can I view data that was successfully submitted to OATS?

No. The OATS Web interface only allows you to view file status, reporting statistics, and rejected records. You cannot view data that was submitted to and accepted by OATS. However, the FORE Status Notification does provide counts of records contained within each file so that firms can identify the number of events in an accepted or rejected file and/or whether an accepted file contains zero records. (Last updated 4/24/2012)

 

T59. Should the Received Method Code indicate the way the order was received at my firm or should it indicate the way the order was captured after it reached my firm?

The Received Method Code is designed to identify how orders were actually received by reporting members and ECNs.

 

The two available codes and when they should be used are as follows:

  • "E" - Electronic, non-ECN - This code should be used for orders received electronically (i.e., via an electronic order routing or execution system.
  • "N" - Non-electronic, non-ECN - This code should be used for orders received non-electronically (e.g., Manual - over the phone, in person).


Should you have questions about the Received Method Code, please contact the Business and Technology Support Services. (Last updated 03/30/09)
 

T60. We receive customer orders via the telephone and then manually input them into an ECN’s terminal. Are these orders considered electronic?

No. Customer orders that are received by a firm in a manual way, such as via the telephone, and then input into an ECN's terminal are considered manual orders that are routed to the ECN. (Last updated 03/30/09)

 

T61. Who do I contact if I need to change the configuration of my connection to the private network?

If you need additional assistance, contact Business and Technology Support Services at (800) 321-6273 (select Technical). (Last updated 08/23/04)

 

T62. Some of our order reports are rejected because they are not related to a New Order Report in OATS. Can we send a New Order Report to match with these order reports and prevent the rejection?

If the order reports are related to a GTC, GTD or GTM limit order that you previously submitted to OATS less than one year previously, and you are receiving this error message, contact FINRA Business and Technology Support Services (select Business) to determine the cause of the rejection. If the order events are related to a market order, a DAY or GTT limit order, that you submitted to OATS more than 5 business days previously, any attempt to resubmit the subsequent order events will result in rejections. The order information is only available for 5 business days. Should this occur, members should retransmit to OATS a duplicate New Order Report as well as any related subsequent order events that were rejected or were not submitted previously. The New Order Report, as well as any previously rejected order events should have the Rejected ROE Resubmit Flag set to “Y”. Any subsequent order events not previously submitted should be submitted without the Reject ROE resubmit Flag. (Last updated 06/13/02)

 

T64. If I execute a limit order several months after I received the order, will the Execution Report be rejected by OATS?

No. Limit orders with a Time in Force code of "GTC" or "GTD" are maintained in OATS for two years. Any order report related to one of these limit orders can be reported to OATS within that time period. (Last updated 05/07/99)

 

T65. Is there a way to save a copy of the records I submit via the OATS Web interface?

Yes. Within the OATS Web interface, if you follow the Send ROEs link, you can view all ROES that you have added or repaired during your session. Before you actually download the ROEs that were added or repaired, right-click the Download Staged ROEs link and select "Save Link As" or "Save Target As". This is your only opportunity to download (for data retention purposes) new and repaired ROEs. See the OATS Subscriber Manual for additional information. (Last updated 05/07/99)

 

T66. Is the ACT-reported Branch/Sequence Number required to be unique within our firm within a day?

No. However, the ACT-Reported Branch/Sequence Number reported in your OATS Execution Report must precisely match the Branch/Sequence Number reported to ACT (including spaces and capitalization). (Last updated 05/07/99)

 

T67. Can the ACT-reported Branch/Sequence Number contain a space?

Yes. This number can contain any 8 ASCII characters, except the specified file delimiters. The Branch/Sequence number contained in the OATS Execution Report must be the exact same Branch/Sequence Number contained in the ACT Report, including preceding zeros or spaces. (Last updated 05/16/00)   

 

T68. Where can I find the latest status of the OATS system?

You should check the Announcements that are listed in the OATS production environment (https://firms.finra.org) and the OATS testing environment (https://firms.finra.org). These pages contain important information specifically for entities using the OATS system. They are updated frequently. The date they were last updated is listed on the first page as you enter OATS. For additional information, contact Business and Technology Support Services . (Last updated 1/14/10)

 

T69. How do I report an order for a fractional number of shares? For example, we recently received an order for 100-1/2 shares.

If you receive an order with fractional shares, delete the fraction and report the whole number, except when the whole number would be "0" (zero). If the whole number would be "0", round up to "1". In your example, your share quantity should be "100". If you submit an order report containing a decimal or a fraction, the report will be rejected. (Last updated 12/04/00)

 

T70. How do I report a fractional number of shares as Leaves Quantity?

If you have a Leaves Quantity that totals a fractional number of shares, delete the fraction and report a whole number, except when the leaves quantity would be "0" (zero). If the leaves quantity would be "0", then round up to "1". In your example, if you had a Leaves Quantity of 500-1/2 shares, your Leaves Quantity should be reported as "500". If you submit a Leaves Quantity containing a decimal or a fraction, your order report will be rejected. (Last updated 12/04/00)

 

T71. If a customer asks me to cancel an order after it has been executed, and I send to OATS a Cancel Report, won’t it be rejected?

No. The Cancel Report will not be rejected from OATS. (For additional information about Cancel Reports refer to the OATS Reporting Technical Specifications .) (Last updated 05/07/99)

 

T73. We received an order after the market closed and created a New Order Report for it. The order was placed in a queue for execution. Prior to market open, the customer called and canceled the order. In order to follow the customer’s instructions, we had to delete the order from the queue. What are we required to report to OATS?

In the scenario you describe, you are required to submit a New Order Report and a Cancel Report for the customer’s order, even if both happen on the same business day before market open. (Last updated 05/07/99)

 

T74. My firm sometimes receives an order and then executes it over 3 separate executions. When reporting the last of these executions, which Execution Type Code should we use?

Anytime a firm executes a number of shares less than the total quantity of the order, the firm should use the Execution Type Code "P" (Partial). Keep in mind that a Leaves Quantity must be provided if the Execution Type 'P' is used otherwise the report will be rejected. If the execution is the last in a series of executions in which the order is completely filled, then the firm should use the Execution Type Code 'P' and a Leaves Quantity of 0. (Last updated 02/23/01)

 

T75. The Order Received Date field has been appended to provide for the input of time. Are we required to populate the time portion of this field?

Yes. Firms are required to populate the time portion of the Order Received Date field or the report will be rejected. However, if your firm determines that it does not need to utilize the time to uniquely identify the order, you may populate, or pad, the field with zeroes. Please remember that the manner in which you populate the time portion of the Order Received Date field on the New Order Report must remain consistent on all subsequent reports or the reports will not link and thus be rejected. Firms with more than one entity submitting reports on their behalf should coordinate to ensure that both entities are using the same methodology regarding the time portion of the Order Received Date field. (Last updated 04/12/01)