Upon Written Request Copies Available From: Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, Washington, DC 20549-0213.
Rule 17Ad-13; SEC File No. 270-263; OMB Control No. 3235-0275.
Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) (“PRA”), 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 (“OMB”) for extension and approval.
Rule 17Ad-13 (17 CFR 240.17Ad-13) requires an annual study and evaluation of internal accounting controls under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78a et seq.). It requires approximately 150 registered transfer agents to obtain an annual report on the adequacy of their internal accounting controls from an independent accountant. In addition, transfer agents must maintain copies of any reports prepared pursuant to Rule 17Ad-13 plus any documents prepared to notify the Commission and appropriate regulatory agencies in the event that the transfer agent is required to take any corrective action. These recordkeeping requirements assist the Commission and other regulatory agencies with monitoring transfer agents and ensuring compliance with the rule. Small transfer agents are exempt from Rule 17Ad-13 as are transfer agents that service only their own companies' securities.
Approximately 150 independent, professional transfer agents must file the independent accountant's report annually. We estimate that the annual internal time burden for each transfer agent to comply with Rule 17Ad-13 by submitting the report prepared by the independent accountant to the Commission is minimal. The time required for the independent accountant to prepare the accountant's report varies with each transfer agent depending on the size and nature of the transfer agent's operations. The Commission estimates that, on average, each report can be completed by the independent accountant in 120 hours, resulting in a total of 18,000 external hours annually (120 hours × 150 reports). The burden was estimated using Commission review of filed Rule 17Ad-13 reports and Commission conversations with transfer agents and accountants. The Commission estimates that, on average, 120 hours are needed to perform the study, prepare the report, and retain the required records on an annual basis. Assuming an average hourly rate of an independent accountant of $60, the average total annual cost of the report is $7,200. The total annual cost for the approximate 150 respondents is approximately $1,080,000.
The retention period for the recordkeeping requirement under Rule 17Ad-13 is three years following the date of a report prepared pursuant to the rule. The recordkeeping requirement under Rule 17Ad-13 is mandatory to assist the Commission and other regulatory agencies with monitoring transfer agents and ensuring compliance with the rule. This rule does not involve the collection of confidential information.
Written comments are invited on: (a) Whether this proposed collection of information is necessary for the performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have any practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden imposed by 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.
The Commission may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB 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 OMB control number.
Please direct your written comments to Thomas Bayer, Director/Chief Information Officer, Securities and Exchange Commission, c/o Remi Pavlik-Simon, 6432 General Green Way, Alexandria, Virginia 22312; or send an email to: PRA Mail Box@sec.gov.
Dated: October 12, 2012.
Kevin M. O'Neill,
[FR Doc. 2012-25602 Filed 10-17-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8011-01-P