SEC hands out $54m to digitise company disclosure

The Securities and Exchange Commission will spend $54m (£28.4m) to transform
the agency’s paper-based company disclosure system into a ‘dynamic real-time
search tool with interactive capabilities’.

Christopher Cox, the chairman of the SEC, said the IT project signalled the
agency’s attempt to move away from its current EDGAR database and presaged the
widespread adoption of interactive filing to the SEC. Interactive filing has
only been a voluntary pilot programme up to now.

The new electronic system will use the XBRL computer language and see the SEC
team up with the FDIC, the Federal Reserve and the Comptroller of Currency, who
require banks to use the system. Over the last year 8,200 US financial
institutions have been using XBRL to submit their quarterly Call Reports to US
banking regulators.

‘The new system will make it easier both to file information with the
Commission, and to use it. For investors and analysts, it will represent a
quantum leap over existing disclosure technologies. For companies, it will mean
easier and less costly compliance with SEC requirements,’ said Cox.

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