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SEC proposes amendments to simplify and modernize certain disclosure requirements in Regulation S-K

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Oct 12, 2017

The SEC has issued a proposed rule that contains a number of specific revisions to a broad group of disclosure requirements in Regulation S-K in response to a mandate of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.

The objective of the proposed rule is to "modernize and simplify certain disclosure requirements in Regulation S-K, and related rules and forms, in a manner that reduces the costs and burdens on registrants while continuing to provide all material information to investors." The proposal underscores the importance of making registrants' disclosures more readable and navigable as well as eliminating "repetition and disclosure of immaterial information."

SEC Chairman Jay Clayton addressed the proposed rule in a public statement at the Commission's October 11, 2017, open meeting. Mr. Clayton particularly emphasized two areas in which the proposed rule has recommended improvements: (1) Management's Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) and (2) the confidential treatment process. Regarding the proposed changes related to MD&A, he pointed out that registrants would be permitted to "forgo discussion of the oldest period if the information has been previously reported and . . . is no longer material." In discussing the suggested enhancements to the confidential treatment process, he noted that the proposed amendments would "create efficiencies" by permitting "registrants to omit from material contract exhibits confidential information that is not material and would cause competitive harm if publicly disclosed, without having to request confidential treatment from the Commission." 

For more information, see the proposed rule and Mr. Clayton's public statement on the SEC's Web site. In addition, stay tuned for Deloitte's upcoming Heads Up newsletter on the proposed rule.

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