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.

FINRA released a new edition of the OATS Reporting Technical Specifications dated June 10, 2016. This edition includes:

  • New requirements for FINRA Rule 4554 - Alternative Trading Systems - Recording and Reporting Requirements of Order and Execution Information for NMS Stocks.
  • New allowable values for Special Handling Codes.

Other than the new allowable values for Special Handling Codes, all other changes described in the June 10, 2016 edition of the OATS Reporting Technical Specifications apply only to ATSs for orders in NMS stocks. Firms who are not ATSs and ATSs that do not receive orders in NMS stocks are not required to make any changes related to FINRA Rule 4554.

The changes described in this edition are scheduled to be available for testing in the OATS Certificate Test environment on September 26, 2016 and are scheduled to go into the OATS Production environment on November 7, 2016.

View OATS Reporting Technical Specifications (6/10/2016 edition) (PDF 1.41 MB)

The OATS Reporting Technical Specifications dated May 27, 2016 represent changes that are scheduled to be available for testing in the OATS Certificate Test environment on June 20, 2016 and are scheduled to go into the OATS Production environment on August 1, 2016. These changes include:

  • New requirements for  FINRA members to identify on their OATS reports the identity of certain broker-dealers that are not FINRA members when the member has received an order from such a broker-dealer.  
  • New allowable value for ISO Flag.
  • New allowable value for Special Handling Codes.

In support of the release, FINRA published the following additional information:

View OATS Reporting Technical Specifications (5/27/2016 edition) (PDF 1.51 MB)

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.