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Notice

Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Upon Written Request, Copies Available From: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, Washington, DC 20549-0213.

Extension:

Rule 17Ac3-1(a); SEC File No. 270-96; OMB Control No. 3235-0151.

Form TA-W(1669); SEC File No. 270-96; OMB Control No. 3235-0151.

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 existing collection of information provided for in the following rule: Rule 17Ac3-1(a) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78a et seq.) (“Exchange Act”). The Commission plans to submit this existing collection of information to the Office of Management and Budget for extension and approval.

Section 17A(c)(4)(B) of the 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)(4)(B) of the Exchange Act the Commission, on September 1, 1977, promulgated Rule 17Ac3-1(a) (17 CFR 240.17Ac3-1(a)) and accompanying Form TA-W (17 CFR 249b.101). 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 Start Printed Page 18264the 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 registered with the Commission would not have a means to voluntarily deregister when necessary or appropriate to do so.

Respondents file approximately 50 TA-Ws with the Commission annually. A Form TA-W filing occurs only once, when a transfer agent is seeing deregistration. Approximately 80 percent of Form TA-Ws are completed by the transfer agent or its employees and approximately 20 percent of Forms TA-W are completed by an outside filing agent that is hired by the registrant to prepare the form and file it electronically. In view of the readily-available information requested by Form TA-W, its short and simple presentation, and the Commission's experience with the filers, we estimate that approximately 30 minutes is required to complete and file Form TA-W, which consists primarily of external labor costs plus a nominal and unquantifiable amount of computer operations/maintenance cost (because the Form must be filed electronically through the Commission's EDGAR system). For transfer agents that complete Form TA-W themselves, we estimate the cost per filing is $25 (.5 hours times $50 average hourly rate for clerical staff time), which is an internal labor cost. We estimate that outside filing agents charge $100 to complete and file a TA-W on behalf of a registrant, reflecting an external cost to respondents.

Written comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Commission's estimates of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be 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.

The Commission may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number.

Please direct your written comments to: Thomas Bayer, Chief Information Officer, Securities and Exchange Commission, c/o Remi Pavlik-Simon, 6432 General Green Way, Alexandria, VA 22312 or send an e-mail to: PRA_Mailbox@sec.gov.

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Dated: March 28, 2011.

Cathy H. Ahn,

Deputy Secretary.

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[FR Doc. 2011-7690 Filed 3-31-11; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8011-01-P