SEC:

EDGAR Information Dissemination

IMTEC-92-86R: Published: Sep 30, 1992. Publicly Released: Oct 2, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval System (EDGAR), focusing on whether: (1) public access to EDGAR data was consistent with applicable laws; and (2) an interested group's expressed concerns regarding EDGAR cost and access showed a full and accurate understanding of SEC plans for public access. GAO found that: (1) the SEC method of providing public access to EDGAR data was consistent with applicable laws; (2) the EDGAR contract's dissemination provisions required that EDGAR data be sold to the public in electronic form, on magnetic tape, on paper, and on microfiche; (3) SEC regulated and annually reviewed the costs of the data forms under the contract; (4) the interested group's concerns about certain users' ability to search the database online demonstrated a lack of a full understanding of all options available to users; (5) SEC would retain control over the database; (6) SEC was not required to develop or provide particular products or services in any particular media, but would consider the possibility if standards could be established, and would also consider participating in the Federal Depository Library program; and (7) under the Freedom of Information Act, SEC would release data only in paper or microfiche form, and electronic data would be available only from the contractor.

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