The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) published its 2023 Annual Service Commitment Review for investors, registrants and market participants, spelling out standards and timelines which can be expected when interacting with the regulator.

“This update is part of the OSC’s commitment to furthering transparency to stakeholders,” they write in a statement announcing the publication’s release. The service commitment issued by the OSC is reviewed annually, with performance results against the standard reported quarterly.

They say factors driving changes this year include the level of the regulator’s responsiveness to market conditions along with regulatory and process updates. They add that some service standard descriptions have been updated to reflect structural and governance changes, as well. They say the service standards published will be applied, effective April 1, 2023.

The service standards include those for prospectus filings and amendments, other filings and applications, the speed with which the regulator will acknowledge when they’ve received notice that individuals have left registered firms and what firms can expect if they are selected for a review. 

“In general, the time spent on a review depends on the quality and effectiveness of your existing compliance program as well as the availability of key personnel and prompt responses to our requests for information,” they state. In compliance reviews for registrants, for example, the OSC says it will complete its review and communicate findings for ordinary course compliance reviews within 14 weeks of the initial meeting with the registrant. (This is up from 12 weeks in earlier iterations of the standard.) Requests for tribunal hearing materials will be complete within five working days. The standard also states that 80 per cent of all calls received will be answered in 60 seconds and written inquiries will be responded to within five working days. Continuous disclosure reviews, they say, will be completed within 120 days of the regulator issuing its first comment letter. 

“The service commitments we make to those whom we regulate apply when we are acting as your principal regulator,” they continue in the OSC’s service commitment document. “Where this is not the case, the standards of your principal regulator will apply. We will take all reasonable steps to address your matter within the timeframes set out in this document.”