MSRB NOTICE 2008-49 (DECEMBER 16, 2008)


The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (“MSRB”) is announcing the availability of registration for and testing of the MSRB’s planned Short-term Obligation Rate Transparency (“SHORT”) System.[1]  Beginning today, once a submitter has completed registration requirements to use the SHORT System, test submissions of properly formatted Extensible Markup Language (XML) files may be submitted to the SHORT System using a computer-to-computer connection (“SHORT System Web Service”).  The SHORT System Web Service is designed to permit users of the SHORT System to upload XML files that include the information relating to Auction Rate Securities (“ARS”) and Variable Rate Demand Obligations (“VRDO”) identified in proposed changes to MSRB Rule G-34, which the MSRB has proposed to become effective on January 30, 2009.[2]  Also provided in this notice are an updated version of SHORT System Specifications and technical information on how to use the SHORT System Web Service.

SHORT System Registration in MSRB Gateway

All submitters of information to the SHORT System are required to obtain an account in MSRB Gateway.  Once an account has been created, a Master Account Administrator or account administrator must assign SHORT System account access rights to a user prior to a user submitting a test submission to the SHORT System.  Through MSRB Gateway, submitters also have the ability to designate third-party agents to submit information to the SHORT System on the submitter’s behalf.  

As described in SHORT System Specifications, submissions to the SHORT System may be made by the following classes of submitters:

  • ARS Program Dealer;
  • VRDO Remarketing Agent;
  • ARS Auction Agent; and
  • Designated Agent, which may submit any information otherwise permitted to be submitted by another class of submitter which has designated such agent.

ARS Program Dealer and VRDO Remarketing Agent:

Each dealer registered with the MSRB has an account in MSRB Gateway and each account is administered by the dealer’s Primary Contact under MSRB Rule G-40, on electronic mail contacts (Master Account Administrator).  Each dealer controls the administration of its master account and is able to create and manage individual user accounts within MSRB Gateway.   

ARS Auction Agent:

Accounts in MSRB Gateway must be created by an MSRB staff member for each ARS Auction Agent.  In order for an ARS Auction Agent to have an account in MSRB Gateway created, ARS Auction Agents must contact Karl Eiholzer, Director of Market Information, or Lorraine Brzostowski, Operations Manager, at 703-797-6668.

Designated Agent:

Through MSRB Gateway, ARS Program Dealers and VRDO Remarketing Agents can designate third-party agents to submit information to the SHORT System on their behalf.  To designate an agent through MSRB Gateway, an “invitation” is sent to third-parties to act as Designated Agents.  MSRB Gateway transmits these invitations by e-mail to the third parties, and upon receipt, the third party can create their own accounts in MSRB Gateway if they are not already registered users.  These third parties can then accept submitter invitations through MSRB Gateway. 

Submitters must electronically confirm Designated Agents through MSRB Gateway before such Designated Agents begin making submissions to the SHORT System.  Once confirmed by a submitter, a Designated Agent can log into MSRB Gateway to make electronic submissions on behalf of the designating submitter.  Submitters will be responsible in all respects for actions taken by Designated Agents on their behalf.  MSRB Gateway will also allow submitters to revoke designations of Designated Agents at any time.  Please note that once a Designated Agent has been established as a recognized company in MSRB Gateway, the Designated Agent will utilize the User Account Management System as described in the MSRB Gateway User Account Management user manual linked below.

Additional information, including user manuals, about MSRB Gateway can be found at:

SHORT System Web Service

Once a submitter has registered to use the SHORT System through MSRB Gateway, test submissions of properly formatted XML files may be submitted to the SHORT System.  Submissions of information to the SHORT System are made by transmitting a properly formatted XML file to the SHORT System Web Service.  Information on how to submit properly formatted XML files using the SHORT System Web Service as well as the location of the web service on the Internet, is available at:

SHORT System Web User Interface

The MSRB also is developing a SHORT System Web User Interface for manual input of data to the SHORT System and for reviewing information submitted using the SHORT System XML Interface.  In December the MSRB is planning to make the SHORT System Web User Interface available for testing and a notice on will be published announcing the availability of the SHORT System Web User Interface for testing.  All submitters that register to use the SHORT System are granted the ability to use the XML Interface and Web User Interface.

SHORT System Specifications

Published today is Version 1.1 of the SHORT System XML Interface Specification and Data Elements.  Please see the revision history in the Specifications document for the specific changes from Version 1.0.[3]

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Questions about testing the SHORT System, including how to review test submissions, and registering for the SHORT System in MSRB Gateway should be directed to the Market Information Help Desk at 703-797-6668.  Other questions about this notice should be directed to Justin R. Pica, Director, Uniform Practice Policy, at 703-797-6716.

December 16, 2008

[1] On November 18, 2008, the MSRB filed with the SEC a proposed rule change that would (i) implement the SHORT System; (ii) provide free public access to information disseminated from the SHORT System through the MSRB’s Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA) system; and (iii) amend Rule G-34, on CUSIP numbers and new issue requirements, to require dealers to report, or ensure the reporting of, certain interest rate and descriptive information to the SHORT System about Auction Rate Securities and Variable Rate Demand Obligations.  The MSRB proposed an effective date of January 30, 2009 for the proposed rule change.  See MSRB Notice 2008-46 (November 18, 2008).

[2] Id.

[3] Version 1.0 of the Specifications was published in MSRB Notice 2008-48 (December 10, 2008).