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EDGAR, the Electronic Data-Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system, performs automated collection, validation, indexing, acceptance, and forwarding of submissions by companies and others who are required by law to file forms with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC").

Not all documents filed with the SEC by public companies are available on EDGAR. Companies were phased in to EDGAR filing over a three-year period, ending May 6, 1996. As of that date, all public domestic companies were required to make their filings on EDGAR, except for filings made in paper because of a hardship exemption. Third-party filings with respect to these companies, such as tender offers and Schedule 13D filings, are also filed on EDGAR.

However, some documents are not yet permitted to be filed electronically, and consequently will not be available on EDGAR. Other documents may be filed on EDGAR voluntarily, and consequently may or may not be available on EDGAR. For example, Forms 3, 4, and 5 (security ownership and transaction reports filed by corporate insiders) and Form 144 (notice of proposed sale of securities) may be filed on EDGAR at the option of the filer. As of November 4, 2002, the SEC required all foreign companies and foreign governments to file their documents on EDGAR. Prior to that time, electronic filing by foreign companies also was voluntary.

It should also be noted that the actual annual report to shareholders (except in the case of investment companies) need not be submitted on EDGAR, although some companies do so voluntarily. However, the annual report on Form 10-K or 10-KSB, which contains much of the same information, is required to be filed on EDGAR.