MSRB Provides Guidance To Issuers on Continuing Disclosure

Date: April 29, 2009

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

Issuers Are Encouraged to Register, Test Service Before July 1, 2009

Alexandria, VA - In preparation for the July 1, 2009 start date for the continuing disclosure service on the Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA) system, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board plans to provide periodic updates that will be available in the News & Announcements section of the EMMA website and in the Press Release section of the MSRB website. Any updates about the continuing disclosure service will be posted as soon as they become available.

The MSRB is introducing many changes to improve transparency in the municipal securities market and recognizes that submitting continuing disclosures to EMMA will be a new experience for issuers. The MSRB is working to make the transition to this new process a simple one for issuers. 

Municipal bond issuers and obligors should know that registration with EMMA is required before they can submit continuing disclosure documents. The registration process will be available on or around May 26, 2009 and the MSRB recommends that issuers register before they must submit documents beginning July 1, 2009. Issuers and obligors will be able to go to the EMMA Dataport, located on upper right portion of, to create an account. This is the same location where users will log into EMMA to submit documents.

"The continuing disclosure service on EMMA will provide issuers and the market with a powerful, single repository for ongoing information about municipal bonds starting July 1st," said MSRB Executive Director Lynnette Kelly Hotchkiss. "We encourage issuers and obligors to register early and learn about the new continuing disclosure process as soon as possible. We also encourage financial advisors and bond lawyers to understand the new filing requirements so they may assist their issuer clients."  Hotchkiss noted that on July 1, issuers will be able to manage agents who may submit documents on issuers' behalf.

All issuers must be prepared and ready to submit continuing disclosure documents to EMMA beginning July 1 and may wish to consult now with their disclosure agent, disclosure counsel, bond counsel, financial advisor or trustee to learn more about their continuing disclosure obligations. 

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has designated EMMA as the only official repository for continuing disclosure documents beginning July 1. On that date, issuers will file these documents exclusively with EMMA and the current Nationally Recognized Municipal Securities Information Repositories will cease to exist. 

The information systems that the MSRB is implementing to support the SEC's mandate are significant.  Importantly, the MSRB has estimated the increased user traffic associated with data submission and access and believes its systems have been built to scale to those estimates. In the event user traffic and data volumes exceed estimates to the point of impacting standard service levels, we ask for the industry's patience. MSRB is committed to resolving any issues relating to EMMA system features as they arise.

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.