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MSRB Notice

New Online Procedure for Documenting Dealer System Outages

On October 1, 2012, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) will make available a new online service to help brokers, dealers and municipal securities dealers (collectively “dealers”) easily submit, modify and track reports of system outages or other technology-related problems that affect their ability to comply with MSRB rules.  A system outage or other technology-related problem may prevent a dealer from providing in a timely or accurate manner trade reports to the MSRB Real-Time Transaction Reporting System under Rule G-14, current interest rates and documents for certain variable rate securities to the MSRB Short-term Obligation Rate Transparency System under Rule G-34(c), or information and documents about new issues to the MSRB Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®)[1] system. 

In 2005, MSRB provided a procedure for dealers to report their system outages related to transaction reporting requirements.[2]  The new online service replaces that procedure and clarifies that MSRB accepts reports of system outages for all of the submission requirements identified in this notice.  To report a system outage using the new online service, dealers must log into their MSRB Gateway account.  All dealer representatives with MSRB Gateway accounts will be able to access the new online service.  The service can be used to report new outages, amend reports made during the current calendar month and view and export a history of online system outage reports.

The MSRB provides all system outage reports to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority as well as other agencies charged with enforcement of MSRB rules.  While MSRB rules do not require dealers to report system outages, enforcement agencies may consider documented technological disruptions as mitigating factors when such disruptions contribute to violations of MSRB rules.

In the event that a dealer system outage or other technology-related problem affects a dealer’s ability to comply with MSRB rules, the following information will need to be provided using the new online service:

  • regulatory requirement to which the outage relates;
  • date and time that the problem began and ended;
  • date and time the problem was detected;
  • description of the source (e.g., an internal system or third party vendor system) and scope of the problem (e.g., complete outage or slow transmission time);
  • description of the resolution; and
  • outage impact (e.g., the approximate number of data or document submissions affected).

Questions about using the new service or obtaining an MSRB Gateway account should be directed to MSRB Support at 703-797-6668.  Other questions about this notice may be directed to Justin R. Pica, Director of Product Management - Market Transparency at 703-797-6716. 

September 27, 2012



[1] EMMA is a registered trademark of the MSRB.