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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 301 and Forms ATS and ATS-R; SEC File No. 270-451; OMB Control No. 3235-0509.

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.

Regulation ATS provides a regulatory structure that directly addresses issues related to alternative trading systems' role in the marketplace. Regulation ATS allows alternative trading systems to choose between two regulatory structures. Alternative trading systems have the choice between registering as broker-dealers and complying with Regulation ATS or registering as national securities exchanges. Regulation ATS provides the regulatory framework for those alternative trading systems that choose to be regulated as broker-dealers. Rule 301 of Regulation ATS contains certain notice and reporting requirements, as well as additional obligations that only apply to alternative trading systems with significant volume. Rule 301 describes the conditions with which an alternative trading system must comply to be registered as a broker-dealer. The Rule requires all alternative trading systems that wish to comply with Regulation ATS to file an initial operation report on Form ATS. The initial operation report requires information regarding operation of the system including the method of operation, access criteria and the types of securities traded. Alternative trading systems are also required to supply updates on Form ATS to the Commission, describing material changes to the system, and quarterly transaction reports on Form ATS-R. Alternative trading systems are also required to file cessation of operations reports on Form ATS.

Alternative trading systems with significant volume are required to comply with requirements for fair access and systems capacity, integrity and security. Under Rule 301, such alternative trading systems are required to establish standards for granting access to trading on its system. In addition, upon a decision to deny or limit an investor's access to the system, an alternative trading system is required to provide notice to the investor of the denial or limitation and their right to an appeal to the Commission. Regulation Start Printed Page 33948ATS requires alternative trading systems to preserve any records made in the process of complying with the systems' capacity, integrity and security requirements. In addition, such alternative trading systems are required to notify Commission staff of material systems outages and significant systems changes.

The Commission uses the information provided pursuant to the Rule to comprehensively monitor the growth and development of alternative trading systems to confirm that investors effecting trades through the systems are adequately protected, and that the systems do not impede the maintenance of fair and orderly securities markets or otherwise operate in a manner that is inconsistent with the federal securities laws. In particular, the information collected and reported to the Commission by alternative trading systems enables the Commission to evaluate the operation of alternative trading systems with regard to national market system goals, and monitor the competitive effects of these systems to ascertain whether the regulatory framework remains appropriate to the operation of such systems. Without the information provided on Forms ATS and ATS-R, the Commission would not have readily available information on a regular basis in a format that will allow it to determine whether such systems have adequate safeguards.

Respondents consist of alternative trading systems that choose to register as broker-dealers and comply with the requirements of Regulation ATS. The Commission estimates that there are currently approximately 50 respondents.

An estimated 50 respondents will file an average total of 379 responses per year, which corresponds to an estimated annual response burden of 1532.5 hours. At an average cost per burden hour of approximately $77.03, the resultant total related cost of compliance for these respondents is $118,046.26 per year (1,532.5 burden hours multiplied by $77.03 per hour; a slight discrepancy is due to arithmetic rounding).

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 shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed 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.

Direct your written comments to R. Corey Booth, Director/Chief Information Officer, Office of Information Technology, Securities and Exchange Commission, 450 Fifth Street, NW., Washington, DC 20549.

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Dated: June 8, 2004.

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

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[FR Doc. 04-13632 Filed 6-16-04; 8:45 am]