Washington (June 18, 2003) -- House lawmakers, in a 423-0 vote, approved legislation to speed the much-needed hiring of accountants at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The bill, H.R. 658, the Accountant, Compliance, and Enforcement Staffing Act of 2003, waives standard civil-service hiring procedures for SEC accountants and economists without sacrificing civil-service protections for new hires.

A similar accelerated hiring plan is already in place at the regulator for lawyers.

As previously reported, the Bush administration has proposed an annual budget of $841.5 million for the SEC in fiscal 2004, roughly double that of 2002. The increase would allow the financial watchdog to hire more than 800 lawyers, accountants and similar posts.

-- WebCPA staff

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