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The Administration's Strong Record of Enforcement & Reform

  • DOJ prosecuted Arthur Andersen LLP for obstruction of justice and the firm was found guilty.
  • On June 27, the SEC issued an order requiring CEOs and CFOs of the largest companies (947 companies, each with annual revenues in excess of $1.2 billion) to personally re-certify the accuracy, fairness and completeness of their disclosures through the prior fiscal year.
  • Since the President unveiled his reform agenda on March 7, the SEC has sought the disgorgement of compensation and trading profits, including bonuses and stock options, in four new cases -- equal to the number of cases that were brought during all of last year.
  • The SEC has already sought 54 officer and director bars in court proceedings in the first eight months of this fiscal year – 40% more than were sought in fiscal year 2000.
  • On June 20 the SEC proposed strong new rules to create an independent regulatory board to oversee the accounting industry and see that the accounting profession is held to the highest ethical standards.
  • The SEC has proposed new rules that require companies to disclose their “critical accounting” choices in their public filings.
  • The SEC has proposed new rules will to accelerate the filing deadlines for quarterly reports (45 days to 30 days) and annual reports (90 days to 60 days).
  • The SEC has proposed rules to more than triple the list of items that must be reported between filing periods -- including insider sales of stock, loans made to executives by companies, departures of the company’s executives and gain or loss of material customers.
  • The SEC has proposed rules to require corporate executives to personally vouch for their companies’ public disclosures.
  • The SEC has proposed rules to require that most corporate director and officer transactions in their companies’ securities and other financial instruments must be filed within two business days. Currently, corporate insiders are not required to file reports of their activities in their company’s stock for periods of up to 410 days.
  • The SEC is seeking to require that all public companies have independent audit committees that will have the sole responsibility of hiring, firing and retaining independent auditors.
  • The SEC is drafting rules that will ban all non-audit services, unless approved in advance by an independent audit committee of the board of directors. The SEC is also seeking to improve disclosure rules so that investors can have a better understanding of the fees paid to auditing firms and their affiliates.

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