Contracting

SEC plans a makeover for EDGAR

EDGAR database screenshot

What: The Securities and Exchange Commission has a long-term goal of modernizing its online public company filing system called EDGAR (Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval).

Why: Launched in 1992, the EDGAR database is behind the times. The SEC wants to reimagine the system for the current era of structured, machine-readable data. Though billed as an IT contract, the SEC is really looking to this procurement to begin a process of overhauling the way it writes and implements disclosure rules. As a first step, the agency is looking to the private sector for help in overhauling the business processes for filers, disclosure requirements and program management. This involves coming up with ideas to align SEC rule-making with software development and help coordinate these processes across agency divisions. The SEC plans to award a contract with a two-year base and three option years to a single vendor by the end of September.

The overall goals of the modernization are to reduce staffing, equipment and development costs, and the costs incurred by filers. Additionally, the SEC is looking to make connections between individual filings, to be able to link historical data and filings on companies as they are acquired or merged, and to explore the development of a "single use document" that would eliminate filers creating separate disclosures for the SEC and bound corporate reports for investors. A fully modernized EDGAR could be focused on structured data elements rather than filing documents, to improve analytics for regulators and ordinary users.

Click here to read the full solicitation.

About the Author

Adam Mazmanian is executive editor of FCW.

Before joining the editing team, Mazmanian was an FCW staff writer covering Congress, government-wide technology policy, health IT and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining FCW, Mr. Mazmanian was technology correspondent for National Journal and served in a variety of editorial roles at B2B news service SmartBrief. Mazmanian started his career as an arts reporter and critic, and has contributed reviews and articles to the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, Newsday, Architect magazine, and other publications. He was an editorial assistant and staff writer at the now-defunct New York Press and arts editor at the About.com online network in the 1990s, and was a weekly contributor of music and film reviews to the Washington Times from 2007 to 2014.

Click here for previous articles by Mazmanian. Connect with him on Twitter at @thisismaz.


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