The Securities and Exchange Commission has issued a preliminary request for proposal (RFP) to software vendors for management of the Electronic Data Gathering Analysis and Retrieval (EDGAR) system, looking to update it by making it interactive.

"EDGAR was once state-of-the-art. Moving from a paper-based world into electronic filing was a significant step in the 1980's," said SEC Chairman Christopher Cox. "But investors today need access to information in real time, and that information cannot be static. It has to be interactive. During the next 12 months, the SEC will move beyond the EDGAR concept of electronic filing of paper based forms, to an interactive data concept in which investors can have instant access to data that's ready to use in myriad software applications on their desktops."

According to the SEC Chief Information Officer Corey Booth, the SEC is moving quickly to update EDGAR for investors' sake. "We look forward to revolutionizing the familiar EDGAR program, and to finding ways of taking fuller advantage of modern software, data interchange and communications technologies with the help of winning vendors," Booth said.

The SEC has been working on the idea of interactive data since this past February, when it began testing data tagging, in periodic and investment company reports.

This RFP comes after the request for information (RFI), which was issued back in October, and asked vendors for information, and expressions of interest.

The final RFP is scheduled to be issued in January, and the SEC expects to have a contract awarded sometime next summer.

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