MSRB NOTICE 2009-05 (JANUARY 28, 2009)


The MSRB reminds brokers, dealers and municipal securities dealers (collectively “dealers”) of the January 30, 2009 effective date of changes to MSRB Rule G-34, on CUSIP numbers and new issue requirements, to require dealers to report, or ensure the reporting of, interest rate and descriptive information about municipal Auction Rate Securities (“ARS”) to the MSRB’s Short-term Obligation Rate Transparency (“SHORT”) System.[1]  This notice: (i) includes an updated version of SHORT System Specifications as well as a user manual for the SHORT System Web User Interface; (ii) provides the new locations on the internet of both the production and test SHORT System Web Services for submissions to the SHORT System beginning January 30, 2009; and (iii) consolidates other important information related to the SHORT System.

Submissions to the SHORT System

Information may be submitted to the SHORT System by registered users either manually through a secure, password-protected, web-based interface (“SHORT System Web User Interface”) or through a secure, authenticated computer-to-computer data connection (“SHORT System Web Service”), at the election of the submitter.  Registration to use the SHORT System is handled through MSRB Gateway, described below. 

SHORT System Web Service

The SHORT System Web Service allows a submitter to submit properly formatted extensible markup language (XML) files to the SHORT System using a computer-to-computer connection.[2]  Beginning January 30, 2009 the location of the SHORT System Web Service will change and separate web services will be used for submitting information to the SHORT System pursuant to Rule G-34 (“SHORT System Production Environment”) or for making test submissions (“SHORT System Test Environment”).  Beginning January 30, 2009, the web services will be at the following locations:

SHORT System Production Environment:

SHORT System Test Environment:

Submissions of information to the SHORT System using the Web Service to satisfy the requirements of Rule G-34 must be made using the SHORT System Production Environment web service.

SHORT System Web User Interface

The SHORT System Web User Interface can be used for manual input of data and for reviewing submitted information, including information submitted using the SHORT System Web Service.  Since January 5, 2009, all registered submitters have been able to access the SHORT System Web User Interface through MSRB Gateway by selecting the appropriate option under the “Market Information Systems” heading of the MSRB Gateway main menu.[3]  A user manual for the SHORT System Web User Interface can be accessed below.

Beginning January 30, 2009, two options for the SHORT System Web User Interface will be available through MSRB Gateway under the Market Information Systems heading.  Select the “SHORT System Web User Interface” to access the SHORT System Production Environment to submit and review information submitted to the SHORT System pursuant to Rule G-34.  Select the “SHORT System Web User Interface – Test Environment” to make and review test submissions.

SHORT System Specifications

The SHORT System XML Interface Specification and Data Elements details various aspects of the SHORT System, including how to create properly formatted XML files for transmission to the SHORT System using the SHORT System Web Service.[4]  In addition, the Specifications list error codes that can be assigned to a submission of information using the SHORT System Web Service or Web User Interface.  In response to feedback from users that have conducted tests of the SHORT System, several changes to the list of error codes have been incorporated into the Specifications to provide additional details about the status of a submission, including an affirmation that a submission was successful.  An updated version of the Specifications can be accessed below that reflects changes to the error codes as well as the new locations of the web services on the internet, described above. 

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:

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Questions about testing the SHORT System and registering to use 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.

January 28, 2009

[2] Testing of the SHORT System Web Service was made available on December 16, 2008.  See MSRB Notice 2008-49 (December 16, 2008).

[4] The MSRB has also posted XML schemas and sample XML on the internet.  See MSRB Notice 2008-48 (December 10, 2008).