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Ms. Eileen A. Donovan
Office of the Secretariat
Commodity Futures Trading Commission
Three Lafayette Centre
1155 21st Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20581
Re: Petition for Rulemaking to Amend CFTC Regulation 171.9
Dear Ms. Donovan:
National Futures Association (NFA) respectfully petitions the Commission under CFTC Regulation 13.2 to amend Commission Regulation 171.9 to allow for service by facsimile and electronic mail. The information required by CFTC Regulation 13.2 follows.
I. Text of Proposed Rule Amendments
PART 171 - RULES RELATING TO REVIEW OF NATIONAL FUTURES ASSOCIATION DECISIONS IN DISCIPLINARY, MEMBERSHIP DENIAL, REGISTRATION AND MEMBER RESPONSIBILITY ACTIONS
* * *
§ 171.9 Service
(a) General requirements
(b) Manner of Service. Service may be made by personal delivery (effective upon receipt),
or by mail (effective upon deposit), facsimile (effective upon receipt) or electronic mail (effective upon receipt). When service is effected by mail, the time within which the person served may respond thereto shall be increased by five days. Parties who consent to accept service of documents by electronic means in the underlying NFA action also consent to accept service by the same means in proceedings under this part 171.
II. Nature of NFA's Interest
NFA is a futures association registered under Section 17 of the Commodity Exchange Act. Pursuant to Commission Regulation 171.1, the Commission has the authority to review any disciplinary action, membership denial action, registration action, or member responsibility action taken by NFA or any other registered futures association. Commission Regulation 171.9 currently provides for service of documents on the Commission by personal delivery or mail. For the reasons explained below, NFA believes the proposed changes to the Commission Regulation will make those proceedings more efficient for all parties, including NFA.
III. Supporting Arguments
Due to policies and procedures designed to protect governmental employees, the postal mail to U.S. governmental agencies is not as effective as it was prior to September 11, 2001. Often times, NFA has found that documents sent via regular mail to the CFTC are significantly delayed in reaching their intended recipients. While overnight mail addresses the uncertainly of regular mail, it adds to NFA's cost. In this electronic age, having the ability to serve documents by facsimile or electronic mail will make the process more efficient.
Commission Rule 10.12 allows for service of documents by facsimile in enforcement proceedings, provided that all parties have agreed to such an arrangement. NFA regularly accepts and sends documents by electronic means in arbitration, compliance, and disciplinary cases, and it has proven to be an effective method of service.
For these reasons, NFA respectfully requests that the Commission amend Regulation 171.9 to authorize service by facsimile and electronic mail.
Very truly yours,
Thomas W. Sexton, III
Vice President and General Counsel