The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board will provide its full inspection reports to states that agree to honor Sarbanes-Oxley confidentiality provisions, the board's chairman told state regulators this week.

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act limits the public availability of confidential information obtained in an inspection, as well as any findings that criticize or identify potential defects in a firm's quality control systems, and gives firms up to 12 months to address criticisms or deficiencies in quality control. Under the law, if the PCAOB is satisfied with a firm's response, the criticisms or potential defects remain nonpublic.

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