Notice to Members 05-78

SEC Approves Amendments to the OATS Rules

Effective Date: May 8, 2006

On September 28, 2005, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved amendments to Rules 6950 through 6957 (OATS Rules) relating to the Order Audit Trail System (OATS).1 The amendments to the OATS Rules: (1) implement the OATS reporting requirements for manual orders (OATS Phase III); (2) provide that members are required to capture and report the time the order is received by the member from the customer for all orders; (3) expand the order transmittal requirements to include orders routed to a member's trading desk or trading department; (4) exclude certain members from the definition of "Reporting Member" for those orders that meet specified conditions and are recorded and reported to OATS by another member; and (5) permit NASD to grant exemptive relief from the OATS reporting requirements in certain circumstances to members that meet specified criteria.

The OATS Rules, as amended, are set forth in Attachment A of this Notice. In this Notice, NASD also is publishing information regarding the registration requirements for OATS reporting, as well as questions and answers regarding the application of the amended OATS reporting requirements. The amended OATS reporting requirements and OATS Phase III become effective May 8, 2006. In addition, NASD is publishing revised OATS Reporting Technical Specifications, incorporating the amendments described herein. The OATS Reporting Technical Specifications can be found on NASD's Web site at Regulatory Systems > OATS > Technical Specifications.

Questions regarding this Notice may be directed to the Legal Section, Market Regulation, at (240) 386-5126; or Office of General Counsel, Regulatory Policy and Oversight, at (202) 728-8071. For technical questions regarding OATS reporting, please contact the OATS Help Desk at (800) 321-NASD.

1 See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 52521(September 28, 2005), 70 FR 57909 (October 4, 2005) (File No. SR-NASD-00-23).