Twitter’s IPO avoids delay: SEC says it can stay open for weeks if government shuts down

Twitter Lite: cheaper and faster.
Twitter Lite: cheaper and faster.
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The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) could stay open for “a few weeks” even if the US government shuts down, spokesman John Nestor said in a statement today. This could quiet concerns that Twitter’s initial public offering could be delayed because of a government shutdown. Here’s the full statement:

The SEC will be able to stay open in the event of a funding lapse because we have carryover funds available.  Unlike most other agencies, our appropriations language provides that our funds “remain available until expended.”  It is not uncommon for us to have carryover balances at the end of a fiscal year, and we have determined that our carryover balances are sufficient to allow us to remain open for a few weeks if there is a lapse of appropriations.

The SEC would typically be reduced to a skeleton staff in a government shutdown, suspending most of its operations, including enforcement and IPO processing. But now it seems that situation will be avoided for a least a few weeks.

Twitter plans to make its IPO filing public this week, Quartz reported yesterday.

The agency says it will be open tomorrow (Oct. 1), no matter what the government does. But after that, it’s still a gamble on when the SEC’s funding will run out. Two government shutdowns in quick succession in 1995 and 1996 lasted for a total of 26 days.  A former SEC commissioner we spoke to told us that his former colleagues had already been expressing concern that they could soon be sent home.