The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday unanimously proposed to pare and streamline certain disclosure requirements of public companies, marking the agency’s latest effort to prune its regulatory tree after decades of adding branches.

The proposals Wednesday were mostly technical but reflect a broader approach, started years ago and endorsed by new Chairman Jay Clayton, of easing burdens and providing more flexibility to issuers while insisting that investors won’t be shortchanged access to material information. The SEC said the changes would lead to more readable and easier to navigate documents.

One lawyer expects the SEC’s action to simplify life for her clients. Ballard Spahr LLP partner Kathy Jaffari said the items individually may seem small but as whole they can free companies to focus on information most relevant to investors, pointing to the MD&A streamlining.

“Let’s get to the heart of the most material information at the point in time,” Jaffari said. “What happened three years ago, what happened two years ago, does not necessarily shed light on what is happening today.”

The SEC plans to seek public comment on the proposed rules for 60 days.

Read the full article here. Subscription may be required.