Announcement of New Rulemaking Database
Chair Mary Jo White
Sept. 24, 2015
Strong regulations are central to the Commission’s mission. For more than 80 years, we have used rulemaking to establish a comprehensive framework for our securities markets that protects investors, enhances market integrity, and promotes capital formation. The rulemaking process is the means through which the Commission responds to the ever-changing securities markets, targets and attacks harmful practices in those markets, and meets the goals mandated by Congress. Our rules provide important standards against which we assess compliance in our examinations and hold wrongdoers accountable in our enforcement actions.
I am therefore pleased to announce the launch of a new database on our website that will provide enhanced transparency into this vital activity, available at www.sec.gov/rules/rulemaking-index.shtml. This online resource, which will be updated regularly, will bring together information about our rules in a single site where the public can more easily follow specific rules or rulemaking programs. The objective is to give the public “one-stop shopping” for better understanding the development of new rules.
The Commission currently provides transparency into our rulemaking through proposals, where we solicit expansive public comment, as well as through the public remarks of our Commissioners and the biannual Regulatory Flexibility Act Agenda. The Commission also provides information about final rules and current proposals at www.sec.gov/rules.shtml, which our new database will complement and enhance.
Rulemaking is a complex process that evolves over many months. Throughout the Commission’s history, changing market conditions, superseding statutory mandates, new priorities, and other changing circumstances have affected when, whether, and how rules are finalized. This new resource will provide the public with the tools to track not just final rules, but also the development of our policies through concept, proposal, additional requests for comment, and any necessary interim measures.
All of my fellow Commissioners are strong supporters of transparency in our rulemaking and this new initiative. I want to specifically recognize Commissioner Luis Aguilar for the idea for an enhanced website. As the longest serving Commissioner, his tenure has spanned an unusually eventful time that has seen the agency work through the financial crisis, several pieces of major financial markets legislation, and other transformative changes. I am grateful for his contributions in advancing this important project and his unique insights on how the Commission should continue to enhance public accessibility to our rulemaking process.