SEC Issues Staff Report on Public Company Disclosure

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

2013-269

Washington D.C., Dec. 20, 2013

The Securities and Exchange Commission today issued a staff report to Congress on its disclosure rules for U.S. public companies, as part of agency’s ongoing efforts to modernize and simplify disclosure requirements and reduce compliance costs for emerging growth companies.

The report, mandated by Congress in the 2012 Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, offers an overview of the SEC’s Regulation S-K that governs public company disclosure, as well as the staff’s preliminary conclusions and recommendations.

“This report provides a framework for disclosure reform,” said SEC Chair Mary Jo White.  “As a next step, I have directed the staff to develop specific recommendations for updating the rules that dictate what a company must disclose in its filings.  We will seek input from companies about how we can make our disclosure rules work better for them and will solicit the views of investors about what type of information they want and how it can be best presented. The ultimate objective is for the Commission to improve the disclosure regime for both companies and investors.”  

“Updating our rules is only one step – albeit an important one – in improving company disclosures,” said Keith F. Higgins, Director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance.  “For their part, companies should examine how they can improve the quality and effectiveness of their disclosures and how our rules can be improved to facilitate clear and effective communications to investors.  Better disclosure benefits everyone in the marketplace, and we plan to work with companies and investors to achieve this common goal.”    

As part of this effort, the SEC’s Office of the Chief Accountant will coordinate with the Financial Accounting Standards Board to identify ways to improve the effectiveness of disclosures in corporate financial statements and to minimize duplication with other existing disclosure requirements.

Chair White added, “I look forward to working with the staff and market participants as we continue to refine the disclosure system to provide investors with the information they need to make informed investment and voting decisions.”

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