Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”), and Rule 19b-4 thereunder, notice is hereby given that on July 14, 2006, the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (“NASD”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II and III below, which Items have been prepared by NASD. NASD has designated the proposed rule change as constituting a stated policy, practice, or interpretation with respect to the meaning, administration, or enforcement of an existing rule of the self-regulatory organization pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A)(i) of the Act  and Rule 19b-4(f)(1) thereunder, which renders the proposal effective upon receipt of this filing by the Commission. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.
I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change
NASD is filing revisions to the study outline and selection specifications for the Limited Principal—Direct Participation Programs (Series 39) examination program. The proposed revisions update the material to reflect changes to the laws, rules and regulations covered by the examination and to better reflect the duties and responsibilities of a direct participation programs principal. NASD is not proposing any textual changes to the By-Laws, Schedules to the By-Laws, or Rules of NASD.
The revised study outline is available on NASD's Web site (http://www.nasd.com), at NASD, and at the Commission. The Series 39 selection specifications have been submitted to the Commission under separate cover with a request for confidential treatment pursuant to Rule 24b-2 under the Act.
II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change
In its filing with the Commission, NASD included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. NASD has prepared summaries, set forth in Sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements.
A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change
Section 15A(g)(3) of the Act  requires NASD to prescribe standards of training, experience, and competence for persons associated with NASD members. In accordance with that provision, NASD has developed examinations, and administers examinations developed by other self-regulatory organizations, that are designed to establish that persons associated with NASD members have attained specified levels of competence and knowledge. NASD periodically reviews the content of the examinations to determine whether revisions are necessary or appropriate in view of changes pertaining to the subject matter covered by the examinations.
Pursuant to NASD Rule 1022(e), an associated person of a member who meets the definition of principal in Rule 1021 may register with NASD as a Limited Principal—Direct Participation Programs if: (1) The individual's activities in the investment banking and securities business are limited solely to the equity interests in or the debt of direct participation programs as defined in Rule 1022(e)(2); (2) the individual also is registered as either a General Securities Representative (Series 7) or a Limited Representative—Direct Participation Programs (Series 22); and (3) the individual passes the Series 39 qualification examination.
A committee of industry representatives, together with NASD staff, recently undertook a review of the Series 39 examination program. As a result of this review, NASD is proposing to make the following revisions to the study outline to reflect changes to the laws, rules and regulations covered by the examination and to better reflect the duties and responsibilities of a direct participation programs principal. NASD is proposing to add a section on SEC Form S-1 registration. NASD also is proposing to add sections on NASD Rules 2370 (Borrowing from or Lending to Customers), 3012 (Supervisory Control System), 3013 (Annual Certification of Compliance and Supervisory Processes), 3510 (Business Continuity Plan) and 3520 (Emergency Contact Information).
In addition, NASD is proposing to revise the study outline to remove the sections on Section 4(3) (Transactions by a dealer) under the Securities Act of 1933  and SEC Rule 174 (Delivery of prospectus by dealers; exemptions under Section 4(3)). Further, NASD is proposing to remove the sections on NASD Rules 1040 (Registration of Assistant Representatives and Proctors), 1110 (formerly Registration of Government Securities Principals and Representatives) and 2750 (Transactions with Related Persons), as well as to remove the section on NASD Certificate of Incorporation.
As a result of the revisions discussed above, the number of questions on each section of the study outline were modified as follows: Structure and Regulation of Direct Participation Program Offerings, decreased from 47 to 46 questions; Sales Supervision, General Supervision of Employees, Regulatory Framework of NASD, increased from 31 to 32 questions; and Compliance with Financial Responsibility Rules, increased from 17 to 22 questions.
NASD is proposing these changes to the entire content of the Series 39 examination, including the selection specifications and question bank. The number of questions on the Series 39 examination will increase from 95 to 100 questions, and candidates will now have 21/4 hours (135 minutes) to complete the exam. Also, each question will continue to count one point, and each candidate must correctly answer 70 percent of the questions to receive a passing grade.Start Printed Page 44745
2. Statutory Basis
NASD believes that the proposed revisions to the Series 39 examination program are consistent with the provisions of Sections 15A(b)(6)  and 15A(g)(3) of the Act, which authorize NASD to prescribe standards of training, experience, and competence for persons associated with NASD members.
B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition
NASD does not believe that the proposed rule change will result in any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act.
C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants or Others
Written comments were neither solicited nor received.
III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action
The proposed rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A)(i) of the Act  and Rule 19b-4(f)(1) thereunder, in that the proposed rule change constitutes a stated policy, practice, or interpretation with respect to the meaning, administration, or enforcement of an existing rule of the self-regulatory organization. NASD proposes to implement the revised Series 39 examination program on August 15, 2006. NASD will announce the implementation date in a Notice to Members to be published on the same date as this filing.
At any time within 60 days of the filing of such proposed rule change, the Commission may summarily abrogate such rule change if it appears to the Commission that such action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, for the protection of investors, or otherwise in furtherance of the purposes of the Act.
IV. Solicitation of Comments
Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:
- Use the Commission's Internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or
- Send an e-mail to email@example.com. Please include File No. SR-NASD-2006-085 on the subject line.
- Send paper comments in triplicate to Nancy M. Morris, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, Station Place, 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.
All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NASD-2006-085. This file number should be included on the subject line if e-mail is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for inspection and copying in the Commission's Public Reference Room. Copies of such filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of NASD. All comments received will be posted without change; the Commission does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NASD-2006-085 and should be submitted on or before August 28, 2006.Start Signature
For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.15
Nancy M. Morris
5. NASD also is proposing corresponding revisions to the Series 39 question bank, but based upon instruction from the Commission staff, NASD is submitting SR-NASD-2006-085 for immediate effectiveness pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act and Rule 19b-4(f)(1) thereunder, and is not filing the question bank for Commission review. See letter to Alden S. Adkins, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, NASD Regulation, from Belinda Blaine, Associate Director, Division of Market Regulation (“Division”), Commission, dated July 24, 2000. The question bank is available for Commission review.Back to Citation
6. Telephone conversation between Mia Zur, Special Counsel, Division, Commission, and Afshin Atabaki, Counsel, NASD, dated July 19, 2006.Back to Citation
[FR Doc. E6-12688 Filed 8-4-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8010-01-P