SEC unveils contract for new EDGAR

Editor's note:This story was updated at 3:30 p.m. Sept. 25. Please go to Corrections & Clarifications to see what has changed.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has awarded Keane Federal Systems a $48 million, six-year contract to operate, maintain, modernize and ultimately replace its Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval (EDGAR) system, the primary means of accepting company filings and providing information to investors.

Keane Federal Systems is a wholly owned subsidiary of Keane, a business process and information technology services firm.

The contract calls for an initial three-year term with three one-year options.

Under terms of the contract, Keane Federal Systems will convert the static text-based EDGAR system to a dynamic data system with real-time search functions, modernizing the way investors access and analyze financial statements and other corporate disclosures filed with the SEC, according to a company statement.

Under task orders issued by the SEC, Keane Federal Systems will design, build, implement and support the commission’s disclosure system. Keane’s team of partner technology firms includes BearingPoint, Microsoft, Rivet Software, EMC, Akamai Technologies and Vistronix.

Keane will work with the SEC to implement a new filing and analysis system, scheduled to go live in 2007. The use of interactive data, Extensible Business Reporting Language and Extensible Markup Language is an innovative departure from today's traditional model for public disclosure, the company said.

The new system will let investors and analysts search and analyze disclosed information directly using automated tools rather than requiring them to perform manual searches, rekey data or pay to have data translated into more usable formats. The interactive data built into the system will make information filed with the SEC more useful and affordable for investors, analysts, filers and regulators, the company said.

The new system will ultimately replace EDGAR and be completely interactive, Keane said.

“Keane's proven record of developing effective technology solutions in the public and private sectors, its strong credentials in information systems management, and its considerable insight into the future needs of the investing public make it a perfect partner to work with the SEC to usher in a new era of increased capital market productivity and efficiency,” SEC Chairman Christopher Cox said.

Cox announced that the SEC awarded three separate contracts totaling $54 million to transform the agency’s 1980s-vintage EDGAR public company disclosure system from a form-based electronic filing cabinet to a dynamic real-time search tool with interactive capabilities.

In addition to the $48 million contract to Keane Federal Systems, the SEC has given a $5.5 million contract to XBRL US to complete the writing of XBRL “taxonomies,” or computer labels, so that companies in all industries can file their financial reports. It expects that the work will be completed in less than a year.

Also the SEC has awarded two separate contracts to interactive data software developers Rivet Software and Wall Street on Demand to provide a new generation of interactive investor tools on the SEC’s Web site. Those contracts have a combined value of $500,000.

Using the new features, investors will be able not only to view but to analyze companies’ financials that are filed in XBRL.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.


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