Sunday, November 18, 2007
In June the SEC posted on its website a Web Tool that was supposed to allow investors to determine whether public corporations were doing business in or with countries that the State Dept. has designated State Sponsors of Terrorism. The site was something of a fiasco for the SEC, and it took it down rather quickly, promising to rethink the concept. It has now released a Concept Release seeking public comment on enhanced access to disclosure of this information. While it asks a number of questions on the concept, they basically boil down to two: Should the SEC provide enhanced access to disclosure to this information, since it does not do so for any other category of information? Should the SEC staff have a different standard of materiality in reviewing these kinds of disclosures? The agency also asks for comment on implementation alternatives, including improvement to the Web Tool and data tagging by the companies themselves.