Securities Division Aims to End Backlog / by June 30

Article excerpt

The enforcement division of the Oklahoma Securities Department has made a new commitment to resolve a backlog of securities cases by June 30, the end of the state government fiscal year, according to Dan Owens, director of enforcement.

"We are looking at the cases and trying to make an administrative decision on all current cases that have been in office for some time," Owens said Tuesday.

Attorneys and investigators of the division are analyzing each active case to determine whether to proceed in-house administratively, file civil or criminal actions in court or close it for lack of public interest, Owens said.

Of 116 active cases, 23 are at least two years old, and 28 are one to two years old, while 65 have been in the office for less than one year.

In addition, 150 cases are being handled informally and have not yet received designation as an open case, he said. Those cases must be evaulated before taking an enforcement action to assure the securities department has jurisdiction over the issues involved and to assure public interest in the matter exists, as required by law.

"We are trying to get into a posture in which we are working on current cases and getting others to resolution and disposition as quickly as possible," Owens said.

While at least half of the active cases should be resolved before the end of June, Owens said he expects 90 new cases will be opened.

Based on a preliminary evaluation, Owens predicted only five to 10 cases would be dismissed.

A new computer program is being installed so the time personnel dedicate to cases can be used more effectively, Owens said. All details of cases will be on computer, including the current status, the last activity in the case, disposition, parties involved and the timeframe it takes to complete the case. …