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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.

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.

Subsection (c)(3)(C) of Section 17A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) authorizes transfer agents registered with an appropriate regulatory agency (“ARA”) to withdraw from registration by filing with the ARA a written notice of withdrawal and by agreeing to such terms and conditions as the ARA deems necessary or appropriate in the public interest, for the protection of investors, or in the furtherance of the purposes of Section 17A.

In order to implement Section 17A(c)(3)(C) of the Exchange Act the Commission, on September 1, 1977, promulgated Rule 17Ac3-1(a) and accompanying Form TA-W. Rule 17Ac3-1(a) provides that notice of withdrawal from registration as a transfer agent with the Commission shall be filed on Form TA-W. Form TA-W requires the withdrawing transfer agent to provide the Commission with certain information, including (1) the locations where transfer agent activities are or were performed; (2) the reasons for ceasing the performance of such activities; (3) disclosure of unsatisfied judgments or liens; and (4) information regarding successor transfer agents.

The Commission uses the information disclosed on Form TA-W to determine whether the registered transfer agent applying for withdrawal from registration as a transfer agent should be allowed to deregister and, if so, whether the Commission should attach to the granting of the application any terms or conditions necessary or appropriate in the public interest, for the protection of investors, or in furtherance of the purposes of Section 17A of the Exchange Act. Without Rule 17Ac3-1(a) and Form TA-W, transfer agents Start Printed Page 17729registered with the Commission would not have a means for voluntary deregistration when necessary or appropriate to do so.

Respondents file approximately fifty Form TA-Ws with the Commission annually. The filing of a Form TA-W occurs only once, when a transfer agent is seeking deregistration. In view of the ready availability of the information requested by Form TA-W, its short and simple presentation, and the Commission's experience with the Form, we estimate that approximately one half hour is required to complete Form TA-W, including clerical time. Thus, the total burden of twenty-five hours of preparation for all transfer agents seeking deregistration in any one year is negligible.

The Commission estimates a cost of approximately $35 for each half hour required to complete a Form TA-W. Therefore, based upon a total of twenty-five hours, transfer agents spend approximately $1,750 each year to complete fifty Form TA-Ws.

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 Information Technology, Securities and Exchange Commission, 450 5th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20549.

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Dated: April 4, 2002.

Jill M. Peterson,

Assistant Secretary.

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[FR Doc. 02-8804 Filed 4-10-02; 8:45 am]