WASHINGTON - The Securities and Exchange Commission has approved a request from the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board that will allow its EMMA system to begin collecting issuers' voluntary filings of non-required financial or operating data as well as event-based disclosures on July 1, the same day the board launches the system's permanent continuing disclosure component.

The voluntary filings may go beyond the types of continuing disclosure documents issuers are required to file under Rule 15c2-12. The SEC rule generally restricts broker-dealers from underwriting new securities unless the issuer has contractually agreed to disclose annual financial and operating information as well as notices of about 12 types of material events, including rating changes and the failure to timely file annual financial information.

The voluntary filings also go beyond a short list of voluntary filings that the SEC has already allowed the MSRB to collect and disseminate through EMMA: documents specified in continuing disclosure undertakings but not specifically described in 15c2-12, such as quarterly or monthly financial information and issuers' amendments to their continuing disclosure agreements with bondholders.

The additional voluntary financial or operating data disclosures could include interim or additional financial information and operating data, while the additional voluntary event-based disclosures could include communications from the Internal Revenue Service or secondary market purchases.

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