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Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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Upon Written Request, Copies Available From: Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of Filings and Information Services, Washington, DC 20549


Rule 15g-2; SEC File No. 270-381; OMB Control No. 3235-0434

Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) is soliciting comments on the collection of information summarized below. The Commission plans to submit this existing collection of information to the Office of Management and Budget for extension and approval.

The “Penny Stock Disclosure Rules” (Rule 15g-2, 17 CFR 240.15g-2) require broker-dealers to provide their customers with a risk disclosure document, as set forth in Schedule 15G, prior to their first non-exempt transaction in a “penny stock”. As amended, the rule requires broker-dealers to obtain written acknowledgement from the customer that he or she has received the required risk disclosure document. The amended rule also requires broker-dealers to maintain a copy of the customer's written acknowledgement for at least three years following the date on which the risk disclosure document was provided to the customer, the first two years in an accessible place.

The risk disclosure documents are for the benefit of the customers, to assure that they are aware of the risks of trading in “penny stocks” before they enter into a transaction. The risk disclosure documents are maintained by the broker-dealers and may be reviewed during the course of an examination by the Commission. The Commission estimates that there are approximately 270 broker-dealers subject to Rule 15g-2, and that each one of these firms will process an average of three new customers for “penny stocks” per week. Thus each respondent will process approximately 156 risk disclosure documents per year. The staff calculates that (a) the copying and mailing of the risk disclosure document should take no more than two minutes per customer, and (b) each customer should take no more than eight minutes to review, sign, and return the risk disclosure document. Thus, the total ongoing respondent burden is approximately 10 minutes per response, or an aggregate total of 1,560 minutes per respondent. Since there are 270 respondents, the annual burden is 421,200 minutes (1,560 minutes per each of the 270 respondents), or 7,020 hours. In addition, broker-dealers will incur a recordkeeping burden of approximately two minutes per response. Thus each respondent will incur a recordkeeping burden of 312 (156 × 2) minutes per year, and respondents as a group will incur an aggregate annual recordkeeping burden of 1,404 hours (270 × 312/60). Accordingly, the aggregate annual hour burden associated with Rule 15g-2 is 8,424 hours (7,020 + 1,404).

Written comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Consideration will be given to comments and suggestions submitted in writing within 60 days of this publication.

Please direct your written comments to Michael E. Bartell, Associate Executive Director, Office of Start Printed Page 15424Information Technology, Securities and Exchange Commission, 450 5th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20549.

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Dated: March 22, 2002.

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

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[FR Doc. 02-7753 Filed 3-29-02; 8:45 am]