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CGI to take over Canada’s key document filing systems on Jan. 13

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.

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Securities regulators have finally set a date for a management changeover of Canada's three key computerized document filing systems after several delays that led to an indefinite postponement in November.

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA), an umbrella group for Canada's provincial securities commissions, said Friday three widely used systems known by the acronyms SEDI, SEDAR and NRD will switch to new management on Jan. 13.

Montreal-based technology company CGI Group Inc., which has been plagued with problems over its work on the new Obamacare health insurance website, won the contract last spring to take over management of the securities databases which are used by companies, insiders and securities dealers to file required documents with regulators.

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The changeover to CGI's management was initially scheduled for Oct. 12, but was then delayed to Dec. 2. In mid-November, however, the CSA said the changeover would not occur on that date, either, and said it would announce a future date when "it is confident of a smooth transition."

The CSA said it now plans to shut down the three systems at 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 10, and reopen them at 7 a.m. on Monday Jan. 13, under CGI's management.

The CSA has not detailed what has caused the delays. In November, Ontario Securities Commission spokeswoman Carolyn Shaw-Rimmington said regulators and CGI have been working on "a handful of technical issues that have taken longer than expected to resolve" and the implementation had been delayed "to allow for thorough testing."

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. SEDAR – the System for Electronic Documents Analysis and Retrieval – is the 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 by CDS Inc., which is owned by TMX Group Ltd., but its contract was set to expire in October, 2013, and the CSA decided to tender the job. CGI won the bidding last April for a five-year term with a possible extension for three more years.

Users of SEDI and NRD would not need to make any changes to prepare for the transition, but SEDAR filers will need to load new desktop software for the new system. It will be available on Jan. 13 and must be loaded within two weeks or users will not be able to continue using the system, the CSA said.

As part of the transition to new management, the CSA has implemented lower fees for SEDAR and NRD filings, which took effect on Oct. 12. CDS reported earning revenue of $14.8-million in fiscal 2012 from the three databases.

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About the Author
Real Estate Reporter

Janet McFarland is the real estate reporter for The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business, with a focus on residential real estate trends. She joined Report on Business in 1995, and has specialized in reporting on corporate governance, executive compensation, pension policy, business law, securities regulation and enforcement of white-collar crime. More

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