The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has today proposed amendments that are intended to modernize the methods that it uses to collect and analyze information. One of these amendments proposes that a number of filings be submitted to the Commission electronically on EDGAR using structured data where appropriate.
Revolutionize the Submission of Certain Forms, Filings, and Materials: SEC
Registrants are required to file or otherwise submit many Exchange Act forms, filings, or other submissions in paper form in order to comply with the rules that are currently in place. In the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, a significant number of submissions were made in electronic rather than paper format, which was generally met with approval.
As part of its efforts to modernize the methods by which it collects and analyzes information from registrants, the proposed amendments would require registrants to make these submissions to the Commission electronically. This would be required as part of the Commission’s efforts to modernize the methods by which it collects and analyzes information from registrants.
“We live in a digital age. In the year 2023, one might reasonably assume that the Commission already supports the submission of all filings via electronic means. That is not yet the case,” said Gary Gensler, the chair of the SEC.
Today, we have the significant opportunity to require electronic filing for almost all of the paper filings that are still required under the Exchange Act. This would be an important step in the right direction.” If the proposal were to be approved, I think it would end up saving the Commission as well as the registrants valuable time and resources.
To be more specific, the amendments that are being proposed would mandate the electronic filing, submission, or posting of certain forms, filings, and other submissions that are made with the Commission by national securities exchanges, national securities associations, clearing agencies, broker-dealers, security-based swap dealers, and major participants in security-based swaps.
The Financial and Operational Combined Uniform Single (“FOCUS”) Report would also undergo some changes as a result of the proposed amendments. These changes would provide clarifications, make necessary technical corrections, and harmonize the report with other regulations.
In addition, the amendments that are being considered would mandate the withdrawal of notices that have been filed in connection with an exception to counting certain dealing transactions toward the determination of whether or not a person is a security-based swap dealer in certain scenarios.
The public comment period will stay open for either the first thirty days after it is published in the Federal Register or until May 22, 2023, whichever comes later.
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