The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board announced yesterday that on May 11 it will make several technical enhancements to its short-term obligation rate transparency, or SHORT, system for auction-rate securities and variable-rate demand obligations,.

The changes include a "pre-population" feature for SHORT's Web-based submission process, which will allow users to submit ARS auction results or information about a VRDO interest rate reset using data elements from a prior submission, so that the data that does not change does not have to be re-keyed, the board said in a statement.

The MSRB also has made additional improvements to the Web interface to make it more intuitive, including minor navigational changes as well as using the full names of data elements in drop-down menus and making VRDO, instead of ARS, the default security type for submitting data "to reflect the significantly larger volume of VRDO submissions," according to the statement.

In addition, the MSRB said that updated versions of SHORT's Web user interface manual and specifications documents contain clarified definitions of certain data elements that have generated questions from dealers, including ARS and VRDO minimum and maximum rates, ARS par amounts auctioned, and the date and time of a VRDO interest rate reset.

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