MSRB to Participate in Sunshine Week

Date: March 12, 2015

Contact: Jennifer A. Galloway, Chief Communications Officer 
               (703) 797-6600


Alexandria, VA – The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) is pleased to announce its participation in “Sunshine Week,” a national initiative to promote dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information, the week of March 16, 2015. Sunshine Week is organized by the American Society of News Editors and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

The MSRB operates the Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website, which provides free electronic public access to information and data about nearly all municipal securities issued in the United States. Documents on EMMA, many of which are provided by state and local governments or on their behalf, help explain how governments plan to use the proceeds of a bond, how the bonds will be repaid and the borrower’s financial position, which may be of interest to all local citizens. The MSRB does not regulate issuers of municipal securities but supports complete and timely disclosure of information about their public purpose bonds. 

The EMMA website also contains information disclosed by municipal securities dealers, or the underwriters of municipal bonds, in connection with certain political contributions they make to governmental issuer officials, state and local political parties, and bond ballot referendum committees. The availability of this information helps ensure that underwriters are complying with federal regulations that generally prohibit them from engaging in municipal securities business with municipal entities for two years if certain political contributions have been made to officials of those entities who can influence the award of business.

As a private-sector self-regulatory organization, the MSRB celebrates, supports and facilitates access to public information. It is committed to ensuring that municipal bond investors and other interested stakeholders have access to information that helps enhance their understanding of municipal bonds and local government finances. The MSRB will engage in a social media campaign during Sunshine Week that highlights public information available on the EMMA website.

The EMMA website is the national repository for information on virtually all municipal securities. Operated by the MSRB, EMMA provides free public access to official disclosures, trade data, credit ratings, educational materials and other information about the municipal securities market. 

The MSRB protects investors, state and local governments and other municipal entities, and the public interest by promoting a fair and efficient municipal securities market. The MSRB fulfills this mission by regulating the municipal securities firms, banks and municipal advisors that engage in municipal securities and advisory activities. To further protect market participants, the MSRB provides market transparency through its Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website, the official repository for information on all municipal bonds. The MSRB also serves as an objective resource on the municipal market, conducts extensive education and outreach to market stakeholders, and provides market leadership on key issues. The MSRB is a self-regulatory organization governed by a 21-member board of directors that has a majority of public members, in addition to representatives of regulated entities. The MSRB is overseen by the Securities and Exchange Commission and Congress.