New SEC chairperson to focus on computerization | Inquirer Business

New SEC chairperson to focus on computerization

By: - Business News Editor / @daxinq
/ 10:20 PM May 08, 2011

MANILA, Philippines—The new head of the Securities and Exchange Commission has outlined her vision, saying she wants to make the country’s corporate regulator a more efficient organization through computerization.

In her first meeting with members of the media late Friday, SEC Chairperson Teresita Herbosa said she wanted to make it easy for businesses to deal with the agency by automating the many processes that were still being done manually to this day.

“For example, the registration process (for new companies) should be done fully online,” she said. “We need to update our records (of corporations), and we need to convert (documents on paper) to digital form.”


A former corporate lawyer with extensive experience dealing with the SEC, Herbosa lamented that it was taking too long for private corporations to secure registration documents from the regulator.


At the same time, many transactions including the periodic submission of financial statements continue to be paper-based, resulting in inefficiencies in her office.

Her eventual goal, she said, was to convert the SEC into a completely “paperless organization.”

At the same time, Herbosa also extolled the virtues of automation, saying it would help regulators monitor companies’ compliance with legal requirements more efficiently.

“There are some companies that would rather pay fines [instead of submitting documentary requirements,” she said, explaining that the sheer volume of paperwork regulators need to process makes it difficult for them to act swiftly on habitual violators.

“If that’s the case, I’d rather have them removed” from the roster of registered firms, she said—action that would be possible if violation patterns are detected early by an automated reporting system.

Herbosa added that she would eventually be seeking additional budget from the government for a computer-based surveillance system that would allow the SEC to detect problematic firms—especially those with extensive dealings with the investing public— and take timely corrective action.


“I also want to focus on the training of our people,” the SEC chief said, stressing that her agency is understaffed to deal with the growing number of corporations under its supervision.

“Regulators should always be ahead of everyone when it comes to understanding market products.”

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