Washington (April 9, 2003) - Although many parts of Sarbanes-Oxley have yet to be put into place, and the new accounting oversight board is still without a chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission chairman William Donaldson said the new corporate governance laws are already working.

Donaldson told the Senate Appropriations committee Tuesday that while corporations are nervous about what the new rules prohibit and allow, companies are already taking positive steps to make sure their board of directors are more independent and audit committees are more proactive.

"So far, so good," Donaldson said during testimony about the SEC’s proposed fiscal 2004 budget. "The system is working the way it should.

Donaldson said that as the new reform laws become more institutionalized, a "whole new cadre" of professionals may be needed to step into director positions and current board members may have to limit the number of boards they sit on.

Donaldson said the search for a chairman for the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board remains the agency’s “No. 1 priority,” but gave no timetable for when a new chairman would be named.

President Bush has recommended $841.5 million for the SEC budget in the fiscal year to come, the largest amount ever requested for the agency.

-- Electronic Accountant Newswire Staff

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Accounting Today content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access