03 June 2011

SEC's askOID - 2 Thumbs Up

When the SEC established the Office of Interactive Data (their way of creating a completely misleading name for XBRL) they also put together a team of people to answer questions about XBRL issues. In the time since, the askOID@sec.gov e-mail address has received (I had hoped to put a range in here, but they told me they do not provide that information - but I'd guess hundreds, maybe thousands) of  e-mails from a wide range of individuals and companies from around the world.

I have, on more than one occasion, when baffled or simply wanting to ensure I have exactly the right answer, sent e-mails to askOID@sec.gov. The responsiveness has always impressed me. In addition to a very rapid response, the information has always been precise. Sometime too much so for me, and if I have had follow-up questions, in almost all cases either the answer arrived (again, quickly) or the offer was made to call we and walk me through the question and answer.

Sometimes the answer has simply been a pointer to a paragraph in the rule, other times to other material on the SEC's website. On the occasions when we spoke, it was invariably to clarify my poorly constructed question(s), and always resulted in the clarification that I needed.

With an additional 8000+ filers coming on stream this summer, I expect the e-mail stream is already heating up. Hopefully they will be able to maintain the same level of support that they have to date.

The SEC has also recently established an online form for questions, located at: http://www.sec.gov/cgi-bin/contact_risk_fin/. The online form does provide a structured environment for entering questions, which should help OID process the requests for information. They also provide a phone number and new e-mail address for technical questions. "For technical support or questions on the Interactive Data Chapter 6 of the EDGAR Filer Manual, please call (202) 551-8900 option 3 during normal operation hours (9 AM to 5:30 PM EST) or email webtech@SEC.gov."

Of course, there remains at least one "oxygen thief" at the SEC and dare I say it, within their Interactive Data program, but the folks that answer the askOID@sec.gov are certainly not in that category.

So two thumbs up to the SEC Office of Interactive Data and the people receiving and responding to the askOID@sec.gov e-mails.


  1. I agree that askOID is doing a great job!

  2. Dan,
    I agree, they are an outstanding group of people, prompt, efficient and totally professional!