Atlanta (March 25, 2003) -- Energy services holding company AGL Resources Inc. dismissed Deloitte & Touche as its independent auditor, apparently over independence issues in the wake of Sarbanes-Oxley, and hired PricewaterhouseCoopers for its current fiscal year.

AGL filed a brief statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission about its decision to dismiss D&T on March 10. The filing said that the company’s audit committee made its decision based on its new "responsibility under Sarbanes-Oxley and related regulations adopted and proposed by the SEC and the New York Stock Exchange."

In its 10-K filing with the SEC, the company said that the accounting firm’s reports “did not contain an adverse opinion or disclaimer of opinion, nor were they qualified or modified as to uncertainty, audit scope or accounting principles,” and noted that there were no disagreements with Deloitte.

The account was worth about $1.86 million to D&T in fiscal 2002, according to a report by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. The report noted that D&T billed AGL about $1.27 million in fees between Oct. 1, 2001 and Dec. 31, 2002.

About $673,700 was related to audits and review of financial statements included in quarterly reports filed with the SEC, according to the article. D&T also reportedly billed the company an additional $593,614 for non-audit services in 2002, including audits of employee benefit plans, income tax consulting services and risk management consulting services. The report noted that those fees were down significantly from 2001, when D&T billed AGL a total of about $3.5 million for its work in fiscal 2001, $1.9 million in audit fees and another $1.5 million for non-audit services.

-- Electronic Accountant Newswire staff

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