Tuesday, December 9, 2008
The SEC published on its website its recently adopted amendments to a rule under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) relating to municipal securities disclosure. This final rule amends certain requirements regarding the information that the broker, dealer, or municipal securities dealer acting as an underwriter in a primary offering of municipal securities must reasonably determine that an issuer of municipal securities or an obligated person has undertaken, in a written agreement or contract for the benefit of holders of the issuer’s municipal securities, to provide. Specifically, the amendments require the broker, dealer, or municipal securities dealer to reasonably determine that the issuer or obligated person has agreed: to provide the information covered by the written agreement to the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (“MSRB” or “Board”), instead of to multiple nationally recognized municipal securities information repositories (“NRMSIRs”) and state information depositories (“SIDs”); and to provide such information in an electronic format and accompanied by identifying information as prescribed by the MSRB. The Commission’s rulemaking is intended to improve the availability of information about municipal securities to investors, market professionals, and the public generally. Concurrently, the SEC approved a companion proposal by the MSRB relating to its Electronic Municipal Market Access(“EMMA”) system for municipal securities disclosures. Finally, the SEC withdrew proposed amendments to the Rule, issued in 2006, that would have eliminated the MSRB as a location to which issuers could submit certain municipal disclosure documents.