Fixed Income Market Structure Advisory Committee
Notice is being provided that the Securities and Exchange Commission Fixed Income Market Structure Advisory Committee will hold a public meeting on Monday, February 10, 2020 in Multi-Purpose Room LL- 006 at the Commission's headquarters, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC. The meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m. (ET) and will be open to the public. The meeting will be webcast on the Commission's website at www.sec.gov. Persons needing special accommodations to take part because of a disability should notify the contact persons listed below. The public is invited to submit written statements to the Committee. The meeting will include panel discussions and potential recommendations from the Municipal Securities Transparency, Credit Ratings, and Technology and Electronic Trading subcommittees.
Amendments to Rule 2-01, Qualifications of Accountants
We are proposing amendments to update certain auditor independence requirements as a result of recent feedback received from the public and our experience administering these requirements since their initial adoption nearly two decades ago. The proposed amendments would more effectively focus the independence analysis on those relationships or services that are more likely to pose threats to an auditor's objectivity and impartiality.
Disclosure of Payments by Resource Extraction Issuers
We are proposing Rule 13q-1 and an amendment to Form SD to implement Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the ``Dodd-Frank Act'') relating to disclosure of payments by resource extraction issuers. Section 1504 of the Dodd- Frank Act added Section 13(q) to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Section 13(q) directs the Commission to issue rules requiring resource extraction issuers to include in an annual report information relating to payments made to a foreign government or the Federal Government for the purpose of the commercial development of oil, natural gas, or minerals. Section 13(q) requires these issuers to provide information about the type and total amount of payments made for each of their projects related to the commercial development of oil, natural gas, or minerals, and the type and total amount of payments made to each government. In addition, Section 13(q) requires a resource extraction issuer to provide information about those payments in an interactive data format.
Amending the “Accredited Investor” Definition
We are proposing amendments to the definition of ``accredited investor'' in our rules to add new categories of qualifying natural persons and entities and to make certain other modifications to the existing definition. The proposed amendments are intended to update and improve the definition in order to identify more effectively institutional and individual investors that have the knowledge and expertise to participate in our private capital markets and therefore do not need the additional protections of registration under the Securities Act of 1933. We are also proposing amendments to the qualified institutional buyer definition in Rule 144A under the Securities Act that would expand the list of entities that are eligible to qualify as qualified institutional buyers.
Adjustments to Civil Monetary Penalty Amounts
The Securities and Exchange Commission (the ``Commission'') is publishing this notice (the ``Notice'') pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (the ``2015 Act''). This Act requires all agencies to annually adjust for inflation the civil monetary penalties that can be imposed under the statutes administered by the agency and publish the adjusted amounts in the Federal Register. This Notice sets forth the annual inflation adjustment of the maximum amount of civil monetary penalties (``CMPs'') administered by the Commission under the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the ``Exchange Act''), the Investment Company Act of 1940, the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, and certain penalties under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. These amounts are effective beginning on January 15, 2020, and will apply to all penalties imposed after that date for violations of the aforementioned statutes that occurred after November 2, 2015.