The SEC has already officially finished gathering comments on the NASDR's qualified immunity rule proposal--Rule 1150--that would increase legal protections for firms regarding what they put on forms U-4 and U-5.

Despite the controversy surrounding the proposal, the SEC gave little notice that the rule proposal was put out for public comment. The NASDR sent the proposal to the agency on Feb. 23. Visitors to the SEC's Web site had to search through the SEC's daily news digest to find an April 23 notice that the filing had been officially received (well after RR's May issue deadline). The notice was then published in the Federal Register April 28, with the comment period to end May 19 after the legally required 21 days had passed.

However, many rule proposals are given 60- and 90-day comment periods, which are often extended at the request of the industry.

The agency issued no press release or Web site notification of the proposal. The SEC site typically shows many pending rule proposals on a variety of topics, and offers instructions on how to comment. But a visitor to the SEC's site on May 8 still found no mention that proposed Rule 1150 had been put out for comment.

An SEC spokesperson tells RR that brokers should still send in comments. Although comments can be sent after the deadline, the SEC has discretion over whether it will consider them.