OATS Technical Specifications

The OATS Reporting Technical Specifications document covers the requirements and procedures for clock synchronization; system access requirements for supplying OATS files to FINRA; order reporting scenarios that describe, from a business perspective, responsibilities for reporting to OATS; details regarding the required layout of OATS files; procedures for providing corrections to OATS data and for receiving feedback from FINRA; and the procedures for registration, self-administration, and testing and certification. It also contains a data dictionary that describes all of the data elements in OATS files; a list of report formats, including field names, data types, and lists of permissible values; examples of order reports; and a glossary. The OATS Reporting Technical Specifications is not intended to provide information about how to develop an electronic system that reports order information; it is only intended to describe what such a system must deliver to FINRA.

On October 12, 2015 FINRA released a new edition that applied only to Reporting Members that operate a Trading Center under the Plan to Implement a Tick Size Pilot Program (“Plan”)  and whose Designated Examining Authority (“DEA”) is FINRA that will be required to submit data pursuant to Items I and II of Appendix B of the Plan (“Tick Size Pilot Members”).  FINRA has also published an OATS Report to provide additional guidance related to the proposed changes for Tick Size Pilot Members. View this report.

UPDATE January 11, 2016: In response to industry comment, the OATS Reporting Technical Specifications have been updated to reflect the elimination of the requirement to report away executions and to move the location of the Retail Investor Order Flag from the New Order Report to the Execution Report. FINRA anticipates filing an amendment to its proposed Tick Size Data Collection rules to reflect these changes. All changes related to the Tick Size Pilot Program reflected in the January 11, 2016 edition of the OATS Reporting Technical Specifications will be available in CT on February 22, 2016 and will be in production beginning April 4, 2016.

View OATS Reporting Technical Specifications (1/11/2016 edition) (PDF 1.51 MB)

The changes associated with the Tick Pilot Program as provided in the October 12, 2015 edition with updates in the January 11, 2016 edition do not apply to members that do not operate a Trading Center under the Plan or for whom FINRA is not the DEA; therefore such members are not required to make any of the changes related to the Tick Pilot Program.

View our archive of past specifications.

If you are having problems accessing these files, please contact FINRA Business and Technology Support Services at 1-800-321-6273.