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A collection of industry trade groups is calling on the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) to consult closely with them as the CSA seeks to overhaul its various electronic regulatory filing systems.

In a letter to the CSA, four of the major industry trade associations — the Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC), the Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC), the Portfolio Management Association of Canada (PMAC) and the Federation of Mutual Fund Dealers (FMFD) — said they support the concept of the CSA renovating its electronic filing systems, such as NRD, SEDAR and SEDI.

“The goal of improving market participants’ filing experience as well as offering investors better access to disclosure information is commendable. Building a system with improved features, such as a browser-based interface and enhanced search capabilities, will improve the experience of all stakeholders,” the letter stated.

The trade associations also see rejuvenated regulatory systems as an opportunity for reducing the regulatory burden by improving the efficiency and functionality of these systems.

“Renewing the national filing systems with a modern, easy-to-use, flexible system that meets both current and future needs brings the potential for regulatory burden reduction through an improved filing experience for market participants. This can create significant operational efficiencies for regulators, firms and registered representatives,” they wrote.

At the same time, the industry groups stressed that they should be consulted throughout the redevelopment of these various systems, and that the regulators should be more transparent as the project proceeds.

“Industry stakeholders can add significant value at each phase, beginning at the systems specifications and development stages … through to user functionality testing prior to launch,” they wrote. “Collaboration with industry stakeholders is also necessary to validate the security of the renewed system with respect to privacy and cybersecurity considerations.”

They also called on the CSA to “improve the transparency of the project by providing frequent progress reports” on its status and cost.