On June 25, 2007, the SEC announced that it has added to its website a software tool that permits investors to obtain information about a company’s business interests in countries the U.S. Secretary of State has designated “State Sponsors of Terrorism.” This information comes directly from company disclosure documents.
The SEC stated that since the software has been launched, it has received many positive comments about the usefulness of this web tool in finding disclosures about company activities in countries that sponsor terrorism, a mission that the Congress has encouraged the agency to fulfill. At the same time, the SEC has received many other negative comments, primarily from the registrants whose disclosures were accessed using the web tool. Others also complained about a lack of updated information beyond what a company has included in its most recent annual report.
To address these and related concerns, the SEC is temporarily suspending the availability of the web tool while it undergoes reconstruction. The SEC stated that it will work to improve the web tool so that it meets the various concerns that have been expressed.
The SEC will also consider whether to recommend a Concept Release on the question of how best to make public company disclosure of activities in terrorist states more accessible. The release would solicit public comment in a formal way, so that the SEC could ensure that all concerns can be met while providing better access to company disclosures on these topics.
Please click http://www.sec.gov/news/digest/2007/dig072307.htm to access a copy of the press release announcing the action.