On March 24, the Securities and Exchange Commission, on behalf of the staffs of the Division of Corporation Finance, the Division of Investment Management and the Division of Trading and Markets issued an announcement with respect to the authentication document retention requirements of Rule 302(b) of Regulation S-T in light of health, transportation and other logistical issues raised by the spread of COVID-19. Rule 302(b) requires that each signatory manually sign a signature page or other document authenticating his or her signature that appears in typed form within the electronic filing with the SEC. Though the requirement to retain the paper original of the authentication document remains, SEC staff will not recommend enforcement action with respect to Rule 302(b) if:
- a signatory retains a manually signed signature page or other document authenticating, acknowledging or otherwise adopting his or her signature that appears in typed form within the electronic filing and provides such document, as promptly as reasonably practicable, to the filer for retention in the ordinary course pursuant to Rule 302(b);
- such document indicates the date and time when the signature was executed; and
- the filer establishes and maintains policies and procedures governing this process.
A signatory also may provide to the filer an electronic record of such document when it is signed.
The SEC announcement is available here.