New SEC rules enable electronic submissions

By Ken Tysiac

The SEC voted Tuesday to provide additional flexibility for the electronic filing of documents with the commission.

Under the new rules, the use of electronic signatures in authentication documents will be permitted. The rules also will facilitate electronic service and filing in the SEC’s administrative proceedings.

The amendments related to electronic signatures permit a signatory to an electronic filing who follows certain procedures to sign an authentication document through an electronic signature that meets certain requirements specified in the EDGAR Filer Manual.

The SEC also amended rules to allow the use of electronic signatures in authentication documents in connection with certain other filings when these filings contain typed, rather than manual, signatures. The amendments were made in recognition of the widespread use of electronic signatures in the current business environment and respond to a rulemaking petition joined by nearly 100 public companies.

Upon publication of the adopting release in the Federal Register, the electronic signature amendments will be effective.

In addition, the SEC adopted rule amendments to require electronic filing and service of documents in administrative proceedings. The amendments also require redaction of sensitive personal information from many of these documents before filing with the SEC. These amendments will take effect 30 days after publication of the adopting release in the Federal Register, but compliance will not be required until April 12, 2021. There will be an initial 90-day phase-in period after the compliance date.

Ken Tysiac (Kenneth.Tysiac@aicpa-cima.com) is the JofA’s editorial director.

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