A House Financial Services subcommittee has approved legislation to allow the Securities and Exchange Commission to bypass civil service hiring red tape so it can quickly hire new accountants, examiners and economists.The agency wants to add about 800 employees to fulfill the new mandates of Sarbanes-Oxley and better its enforcement efforts, but would have been stymied by current hiring rules.Unless hiring rules for accountants change, the SEC won't be able to add employees called for under the Bush administration's budget plan for fiscal 2004. Bush proposed $841.5 million for the SEC next year, nearly double its fiscal 2002 level,The SEC currently employs the expedited hiring process for lawyers.The legislation is scheduled to go before the full House committee sometime next week.
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