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SEC Outlines Its Five-Year Plan

On the agenda are collaborative technologies, knowledge management, and workflow automation.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has issued its five-year strategic IT plan, calling for consolidating redundant applications, centralizing and simplifying data repositories, and enhancing data sharing and collaboration within the SEC and with regulatory partners and registrants.

The plan, which was approved in July and posted on the SEC's Web site Thursday, also calls for enhancing personal productivity through automation and collaborative technologies to facilitate "workforce virtualization," deployment of knowledge-management tools that capture the expertise of staff, and Web-based forms and workflow automation tools to automate internal business processes.

To improve the inspection and discovery process, the SEC will employ electronic search and retrieval of imaged documents, and integrate the document workflow into an overall set of automated case management and examination management processes and tools.

The Securities and Exchange Commission may also soon permit filings to be submitted using the Extensible Business Reporting Language, an XML-based markup language for tagging data in financial statements.

The SEC is considering letting companies use XBRL to file financial data beginning with the 2004 calendar-year-end reporting season. XBRL augments formats such as HTML and PDF, both of which are accepted by the SEC and processed by its online reporting system, Edgar. The SEC will assess over the next several months the advantages and potential impact of XBRL on the Edgar system and on systems used by providers of financial information.