BDM will modernize EDGAR for $49 million

Under a three-year, $49 million contract, BDM International Inc. will modernize the
electronic filing system it built for the Securities and Exchange Commission.


The McLean, Va., company built the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval
system, one of the government’s first expansive electronic filing systems.


“The EDGAR modernization will substantially improve the presentation, quality and
structure of SEC filings,” said Mike Bartell, SEC chief information officer.
“Filers will realize reduced costs and effort associated with the preparation and
submission of SEC-required documents.”


BDM will convert the EDGAR architecture to an Internet-based system using Hypertext
Markup Language, which will support the attachment of graphics files, Bartell said.


SEC created the EDGAR database, which came online in July 1992, to automate the filing
of time-sensitive financial data by public corporations. Publicly traded companies by law
must file certain information, such as annual reports and broker registrations.


EDGAR now receives data via 14.4-Kbps lines. SEC will move to a 56-Kbps network about
10 months into the upgrade, Bartell said. New systems hardware will include servers from
Sun Microsystems Inc. and Stratus Computer Inc. of Marlborough, Mass. SEC plans to house
the EDGAR data in relational database management systems from Sybase Inc.


SEC plans to retain some of its existing systems, which include several fault-tolerant
Stratus servers, Bartell said. “We are going to look at the current system and try to
use any of the hardware that is serviceable,” he said.


SEC will save users money through the upgrade.


“The new dissemination system will dramatically reduce the annual subscription
cost,” Bartell said.


Subscribers pay $278,000 each to Lexis-Nexis Corp. for immediate access to the database
of filings. When the modernization is complete, subscribers will pay $79,686 each, Bartell
said. If the number of subscribers increases from nine to 16, the rate for each subscriber
will be reduced to $47,439.


The SEC provides free access to filings, following a 24-hour delay, via its Web site at
http://www.sec.gov.


Also as part of the EDGAR modernization, BDM will give a full-text search feature and
other Web tools to SEC employees.


At the end of the contract’s three-year base period, SEC has the option to extend
it through five one-year periods. If the commission exercises all five options, the
project will be worth $102 million, Bartell said.

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