On-line service automates public finance process
Municipal governments and financial industry professionals now have a single source of communications and a suite of high-performance network management tools in public finance.com. The new on-line service is designed to save millions of tax-payer dollars by automating and streamlining the manual processes used today to assemble, revise and distribute public finance documents and information.
The first service of its kind, public finance.com can connect professionals in local and regional governments in the United States and Canada with the professional investment community via a subscription-based, secure private network (or intranet).
Public finance.com also provides a Web site on the Internet that anyone can access with a personal computer, modem and browser software.
Public finance.com can be used by government financial officers, under-writers, bond counsel and financial advisors who wish to manage the disclosure process as well as communicate with their peers in a cost-efficient and powerful manner.
The three target markets include local and regional governments and agencies in the United States and Canada that issue municipal debt, financial services suppliers in both countries and the general investment community.
Financial suppliers include bond attorneys, insurers, financial advisors, cash managers, rating agencies, under-writers and auditors.
The investment community includes bank trust departments, broker/ dealers and mutual fund managers.
Key features of the service include:
* an on-line directory that provides background information on public finance professionals, with links to their home pages;
* collaborative authoring and document management for preparing official statements, annual statements and audit documents; and
* information services that provide access to newsletters, articles and documents written by industry professionals.
In addition to the services available on the private network, Ameritech, the Chicago-based company that launched the on-line service, provides a linked WWW site that hosts critical financial documents, also known as disclosure documentation, which can be accessed by the public at no charge.
These documents include annual reports, official statements, material event notices, economic information and financial information. Additionally, government members of public finance.com can post any financial and economic information on the Web site at no cost.
The WWW site is accessible at http://publicfinance.com.
At the heart of public finance.com is a sophisticated document management system that allows multiple users to collaboratively create, edit and route documents. Public finance.com also provides the capabilities of a national wide area network (WAN) environment without requiring users to invest in any hardware beyond a desktop personal computer and modem. Benefits of the system include:
* a cost-effective, secure intranet for public finance professionals and a shared public Web site in one package;
* a reduction and displacement of costs associated with the disclosure process through the creation, revision and distribution of electronic documents;
* the establishment of a secure, centralized workplace for document management among public finance participants; and
* the increased ability of government officials to reach their constituents and investors.
The service is available on a membership-only basis, and the software easily installs from floppy disks. For more information, call (800) 307-1100.