SEC Insight, an independent research firm that analyzes correspondence between the Commission staff and public companies, endorsed plans by the SEC to post comment letters on its Web site.

Prior to that announcement, this correspondence was released only upon request through the use of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). SEC Insight believes that this a major stride in enhancing disclosure for investors.

The Plymouth, Minn.-based company uses legal means to acquire copies of SEC documents that do not appear on EDGAR or any other filing systems. These documents typically pertain to matters of accounting and disclosure and are kept hidden from public view.

"We’ve seen more of these comment letters than anyone on Wall Street, and we know their impact on an investor’s ability to make balanced and well-informed decisions can be enormous," said John Gavin, president of SEC Insight. "[The SEC’s initiative] allows SEC Insight to improve services to clients by focusing less on the filing of SEC FOIA requests and more on our core analytical strengths."

In the past year, the firm has expanded its services to use the FOIA beyond the SEC to acquire and analyze records from any Federal, state and local government subject to information access laws.

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