MSRB Proposes to Launch Web Portal Offering Free Access to Municipal Securities Market Information

Date: November 15, 2007

Contact:             Lynnette Kelly Hotchkiss, Executive Director
                         (703) 797-6600
                         lhotchkiss@msrb.org 

 

MSRB Proposes to Launch Web Portal Offering Free Public Access to
Municipal Securities Market Disclosure Documents and Transaction Price Data

Alexandria, VA - Today, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board filed a proposal with the Securities and Exchange Commission to establish a pilot Internet-based portal to provide free public access to official statements for primary offerings of municipal securities, together with real-time transaction price data for such securities and any related advance refunding documents.  The MSRB expects the pilot portal to become operational on the later of March 10, 2008 or 5 business days after approval by the SEC.

The pilot portal will be designed to provide a comprehensive display of information concerning municipal securities available from the MSRB’s various information systems on a single screen or related set of screens.  The pilot portal will feature a robust search engine allowing the public to readily identify and access documents that relate to specific municipal securities based on a broad range of parameters.

The pilot portal will operate for a limited period of time as a first step toward the establishment of an “access equals delivery” standard for official statement dissemination in the municipal securities market.  The MSRB is publishing today for comment revised draft amendments to Rule G-32, on disclosures in connection with new issues, to garner further industry input on the basic rule-based requirements for moving the municipal securities market from a paper-based to a fully electronic disclosure system.

Upon implementation of the “access equals delivery” standard, the operations of the pilot portal would be transitioned to a permanent Internet-based integrated system for electronic submissions of official statements by underwriters to the MSRB and free public access to such documents and related information.  Should the SEC determine to modify the existing secondary market disclosure system under its Rule 15c2-12 to provide for a centralized electronic submission and dissemination model, the MSRB would stand ready to expand its planned electronic submission system to also serve as the central electronic submission system for free filings of all secondary market disclosure under an amended Rule 15c2-12.  This complete collection of secondary market disclosure information could then be integrated with the MSRB’s official statement/advance refunding document collection and transaction price data to provide a comprehensive centralized public portal for free real-time access to primary market disclosure, secondary market disclosure and transaction price information.  The MSRB is also posting on its website a sample disclosure page illustrating the type of information that could be included in a comprehensive public access portal incorporating primary market disclosure, secondary market disclosure and transaction price information

A copy of a notice describing the pilot portal and the draft amendments is attached and will soon be available, together with the sample comprehensive disclosure page, at the MSRB’s web site at www.msrb.org.



 


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.