MSRB Announces Pilot Continuing Disclosure Service on EMMA

Date: May 22, 2009

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


MUNICIPAL SECURITIES RULEMAKING BOARD TO BEGIN PILOT PHASE
FOR CONTINUING DISCLOSURE SERVICE ON EMMA

Trial Period for Issuer Submissions Starts June 1, 2009

Alexandria, VA - The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) today announced the launch on June 1, 2009 of a one-month pilot phase of the electronic system for collecting continuing disclosures from municipal bond issuers.  The permanent continuing disclosure service on the MSRB's Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA), mandated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), will begin July 1, 2009.

"Beginning June 1, issuers, obligors and others that make disclosures on their behalf can register and submit documents on EMMA on a voluntary basis to get accustomed to the new process and to get a head start on making their disclosures widely available to the general public," said Lynnette Kelly Hotchkiss, executive director of the MSRB.  "We have designed EMMA to be user-friendly and we think the issuer community also will appreciate the ability to see, on the EMMA website, exactly how their disclosures are being made available to the public."

On June 1, 2009, issuers and their agents will be able to create a submission account on EMMA, upload documents and get acquainted with the system before its mandatory launch date on July 1, 2009.  Submissions during the pilot period will not however fulfill issuers' existing disclosure obligations, although documents submitted to EMMA will be posted on the EMMA website (www.emma.msrb.org) and available to the public.  The MSRB has published a notice that provides additional information about the pilot continuing disclosure service. 

EMMA is a centralized collection of electronic municipal disclosure documents, official statements and transparency data that provides free public access to the information. In addition to disclosure documents, EMMA houses real-time and historical trade data for municipal bonds, interest rates and auction results for auction rate securities, interest rates for variable rate demand obligations, daily market statistics and useful educational material about municipal bonds.    

The pilot continuing disclosure service announced today will collect and make available to the public ongoing disclosure documents from issuers, including annual financial and operating information, audited financial statements, notices of material events and notices of failures to provide annual financial information on or before their due date. On July 1, 2009, EMMA becomes the single, official repository for continuing disclosure documents as a result of changes mandated by the SEC in December 2008.

The MSRB is introducing other changes and new functions to the EMMA system to improve transparency in the municipal securities market and offer additional resources to investors. Also beginning June 1, 2009, municipal securities dealers will be required to submit all official statements and advance refunding documents to the MSRB in electronic format. This change, combined with the continuing disclosure service on EMMA, significantly increases the volume of document submissions to EMMA.  The MSRB realizes that these changes are new to the issuer and dealer communities and is working to make the transition as smooth as possible.  The MSRB is providing ongoing training and is committed to resolving issues related to EMMA as they arise.

For additional information on the continuing disclosure service on EMMA, including frequently asked questions and a user manual, please see educational material available on the EMMA Dataport section of EMMA.


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 Congressionally-chartered, 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 subject to oversight by the Securities and Exchange Commission.