MSRB Requests July 1, 2009 Start Date for EMMA's Continuing Disclosure Service

Date: November 6, 2008

Contacts:             Lynnette Kelly Hotchkiss, Executive Director
                          (703) 797-6600

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

Plan Would Give Issuers More Time to Prepare for New Requirements

Alexandria, VA -- The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board has asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to extend by six months – to July 1, 2009 – the implementation date for a proposed continuing disclosure service of the MSRB’s Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA) System.  The MSRB is requesting the change to ensure a smooth and efficient transition to new requirements for municipal issuers and other market participants. 

The change will provide the MSRB with an opportunity to implement a “pilot” system to handle voluntary or test submissions of continuing disclosure documents prior to launch of the new EMMA service.  The MSRB plans to propose such a pilot system to the SEC in the near future.

“We’ve been in constant contact with issuer groups and others who have been extremely supportive of our continuing disclosure proposal,” said Ernesto Lanza, General Counsel of MSRB.  “Some of these groups have told us they would appreciate additional time to prepare for this new process." 

Lanza said providing more time and a pilot environment for voluntary testing will ensure that the introduction of the new information system will not be a burden on small- to mid-sized issuers or those that issue bonds infrequently. "We are committed to making the continuing disclosure system as painless and efficient as possible for issuers, " he said.

Under the continuing disclosure system that the MSRB proposed in July 2008, issuers and other “obligated persons” would submit annual financial information and notices of material events to the MSRB.  The information would then be made available to the investing public through EMMA (, the MSRB’s free electronic information portal. 

The MSRB also has asked the SEC to set January 1, 2010 as the date on which submitters to the continuing disclosure service would be required to submit documents as word-searchable portable document format (PDF) files.

Lanza noted that the MSRB will work with potential users of the continuing disclosure service throughout the pilot phase to help them familiarize themselves with the EMMA system and get help establishing user accounts.

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.