The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced on Monday that it was delivering to Congress proposed legislation intended to address the situation of recent years where "investors were overly reliant on credit rating agencies that often failed to accurately describe the risk of rated products." Under the proposed legislation and rules to be adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission, credit rating agencies would, among other things, have to register with the SEC and be subject to a higher degree of oversight, they would be prohibited from providing consulting services to companies that contract for ratings, agencies would be required to manage and disclose conflicts of interest and preliminary ratings would have to be publicly disclosed to reduce "ratings shopping". According to the Treasury Department's fact sheet, the proposals will "increase transparency, tighten oversight, and reduce reliance on credit rating agencies."