The SEC has posted a final rule release entitled "Extension of Interactive Data Voluntary Reporting Program on the EDGAR System to Include Mutual Fund Risk/Return Summary Information.” The final rule extends the current interactive data voluntary reporting program to enable mutual funds voluntarily to submit supplemental tagged information contained in the risk/return summary section of their prospectuses. Data tagging uses standard definitions (or data tags) to translate text-based information into data that is interactive, that is, data that can be retrieved, searched, and analyzed through automated means. A mutual fund choosing to tag its risk/return summary information also would continue to file this information in HTML or ASCII format, as currently required.
The SEC noted that there has been substantial progress in developing data tagging taxonomies related to a language for the electronic communication of business and financial data known as eXtensible Business Reporting Language (“XBRL”). XBRL was developed as an open source specification that describes a standard format for tagging financial and other information to facilitate the preparation, publication, and analysis of that information by software applications.
As part of the SEC’s ongoing effort to evaluate the usefulness of data tagging, the SEC is adopting amendments to extend the voluntary program to enable mutual funds to submit exhibits containing tagged risk/return summary information attached to EDGAR filings. Any mutual fund may participate, without pre-approval, merely by submitting the risk/return summary information in the required manner.
The amendments the SEC is adopting will, as proposed, provide mutual funds with the option to submit tagged financial highlights or condensed financial information as a tagged exhibit to an amendment to the Form N-1A filing to which the information relates. Mutual funds also may continue to submit this information as an exhibit to Form N-CSR, as currently permitted, whether or not they submit tagged risk/return summary information. A mutual fund submitting tagged risk/return summary information may, but is not required to, submit tagged financial highlights or condensed financial information. Similarly, a mutual fund that submits tagged financial highlights or condensed financial information may, but is not required to, submit tagged risk/return summary information.
The effective date of these amendments is August 20, 2007, in order to provide sufficient time to implement EDGAR system changes necessary to provide for risk/return summary functionality.
Please click http://www.sec.gov/news/press/2007/2007-134.htm to access a copy of the press release announcing the action.