MSRB Current Priorities

In the current fiscal year (October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018), the MSRB is focused on the following key issues in support of the organization’s long-term strategic vision for a fair, transparent and efficient municipal securities market.

1. Expanding Compliance Support. The MSRB plans to apply its market expertise to ensuring that its rules are clear and understandable for regulated entities. We will be responding to requests for rule guidance, clarification and education, and increasing outreach to compliance officers while providing helpful resources and MuniEdPro® courses. A new online Compliance Center and compliance-focused newsletter will consolidate and communicate new and existing resources, and deliver the information in an optimal way.

2. Building on EMMA's Foundation. As the Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website approaches its tenth year, the MSRB will publish a set of guiding principles to shape its evolution into a comprehensive transparency platform. Usability enhancements to EMMA will be noticeable in 2018 that apply extensive input from market stakeholders on navigation and the presentation of information about individual securities. The MSRB will also continue to add interactive tools, such as the ability to plot a security against market benchmarks and additional third-party yield curves, to support users’ understanding of market trends. In 2018, the MSRB will complete a three-year project to reengineer its Real-Time Transaction Reporting (RTRS) system, deploying the next-generation of technology to collect municipal bond transaction data and ensure its smooth flow to EMMA and data subscribers. Data submission systems, including those for political contributions by municipal securities dealers and municipal advisors, 529 college savings plans and ABLE programs, will be enhanced through technological updates and new data.

3. Optimizing Market Data. The MSRB is conducting a comprehensive review of the trade and market data it collects directly from market participants under MSRB rules and other market data received from third-party providers such as credit rating agencies. This analysis will support the MSRB’s efforts to maximize the availability, utility and quality of market data for the benefit of all market stakeholders and the public.

4. Leading the Market Forward. As an independent self-regulatory organization governed by a Board of Directors with broad expertise in the municipal securities market, the MSRB has a unique perspective on issues affecting the market. The MSRB plans to publish white papers and commentary that help inform policy debates on capital markets regulation, infrastructure finance and other relevant market topics.

5. Providing Financial Transparency. The MSRB’s emphasis on financial sustainability is predicated on public accountability and corporate transparency. Publication of a summary of our annual budget in 2018 will demonstrate the alignment between projected revenues, spending and strategic goals, as well as a commitment to fair and equitable fees, and maintaining appropriate organizational reserve levels. New and increased fees on underwriters of 529 college savings plans and municipal advisor professionals support balancing operational costs across all regulated entities, as does a planned review of the MSRB’s data fee subscription model.

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