Securities regulators have again postponed a planned change in management of Canada’s three key computerized document filing systems, this time saying the handover is being delayed indefinitely with no firm completion date.
Regulators announced in April that they had signed a deal with Montreal-based technology company CGI Group Inc. to take over operation of systems known by the acronyms SEDI, SEDAR and NRD, which are used by companies, insiders and securities dealers to file required documents with regulators.
The changeover to CGI’s management was to occur Oct. 12, but was initially delayed to Dec. 2. On Thursday, the Canadian Securities Administrators, an umbrella group for Canada’s provincial securities commissions, said the changeover would not occur on that date, either.
“The CSA will provide a revised implementation date when it is confident of a smooth transition for all market participants,” it said in a brief release.
The release did not explain the reasons for the delay.
SEDI – the System for Electronic Disclosure by Insiders – is the system for companies and corporate insiders to file information about their securities trades and purchases, allowing the public to track insider trading and transactions. SEDAR – the System for Electronic Documents Analysis and Retrieval – is a database for public companies to file all their disclosure documents, such as earnings releases. NRD is the National Registration Database, which is used by securities dealers and advisers to file their annual registration forms.
The three systems have been run under contract by CDS Inc., a unit of the Canadian Depository for Securities, which is operated by TMX Group Ltd. Its contract was scheduled to expire in October this year, and the CSA decided last year to publicly tender the job. In April, it announced CGI had won the bidding for the job.
As part of the plan for changing management of the systems, the CSA had pledged to lower filing fees for users, saying it expected fees to drop for 40 per cent of SEDAR filings and 24 per cent of NRD filings. In October, when it announced the initial delay of the management changeover, the CSA said it would still implement the planned lower fees on Oct. 12.
While the CSA has not explained the reason for the delays, it has said previously that users of the SEDI and NRD systems did not need to make any changes to prepare for the transition, but users of SEDAR would have to install updated desktop software that was to have been provided by the anticipated Dec. 2 changeover date.
The CGI contract is for five years with a possible extension of three more years. CDS reported it earned revenue of $14.8-million in fiscal 2012 from the three databases, accounting for 16 per cent of its total $91-million in revenue last year.