Any governmental entity issuing bonds has to meet specific continuing disclosure standards in compliance with Securities and Exchange Commission Rule 15c2-12. When bonds are issued, the issuer enters into a continuing disclosure agreement/certificate/undertaking for the benefit of the underwriter to meet SEC requirements. This includes providing certain annual financial information and notices to the public.
Continuing disclosures detail important information about a municipal bond after the initial issuance of the bond. This information reflects the financial or operating condition of the issuer as it changes over time, as well as events occurring after issuance that impact the ability of issuer to pay amounts owing on the bond, the value of the bond if it is bought or sold prior to its maturity, the timing of repayment, and other key features of the bond. Each bond will have its own unique set of continuing disclosures, and not all types of continuing disclosures will apply to every bond.
The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board’s (MSRB) Electronic Municipal Market Access website publicly displays continuing disclosures that are provided either as required disclosures by municipal issuers and obligated persons under contractual agreements entered into under the SEC Exchange Act or as voluntary disclosures by issuers and obligated persons without a contractual obligation to do so.