MSRB Plans Pilot Continuing Disclosure Service on EMMA

Date: March 25, 2009

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

Development Follows Request to Create All-Electronic
Primary Market Disclosure Service

Alexandria, VA - The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) today requested permission from the Securities and Exchange Commission to establish a pilot phase for submission and dissemination of continuing disclosure documents and related information from municipal bond issuers.  If approved, the MSRB will establish a short-term utility on its Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA) system to accept voluntary electronic submissions of continuing disclosures and make them publicly available on the EMMA website.  The MSRB has requested a pilot start date on or around May 11, 2009 with an end date of July 1, 2009, when EMMA's permanent continuing disclosure system begins.

"This pilot phase will give municipal bond issuers and investors an excellent preview of how EMMA will collect and disseminate continuing disclosure documents," said Ernesto Lanza, MSRB's General Counsel.  "When fully operational, the MSRB's continuing disclosure system will promote widespread access to disclosure documents through the EMMA website for free and will for the first time place individual investors on the same footing as industry professionals."

Continuing disclosure includes information such as annual financial and operating information about issuers, audited financial statements and notices of material events.  Beginning July 1, all submissions by municipal issuers of continuing disclosures will be made electronically to the MSRB instead of to multiple information repositories, which sell the information to investors.  The MSRB also will post the documents on its EMMA website for public viewing 24-7.

Lanza said that, once the pilot is operational, issuers who previously have submitted material event notices to the MSRB under its prior submission system to meet their continuing disclosure obligations would be able to make such submissions electronically to the MSRB's pilot continuing disclosure system in fulfillment of such disclosure obligations.  However the MSRB takes no position on whether pilot submissions would satisfy any other provisions of existing continuing disclosure undertakings.

Today's announcement follows the MSRB's request for SEC permission to make EMMA a permanent, all-electronic disclosure system.  If approved, EMMA, which has been operating for nearly a year on a pilot basis for primary market documents, also would become the official public distribution channel for municipal primary market disclosure documents and transparency information.  The MSRB has requested establishing the permanent EMMA system on or around May 11, 2009.

The MSRB also this week published specifications for EMMA's primary market automated submission interface and for EMMA's primary market subscription service.  

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.