New York (July 19, 2004) -- Securities and Exchange Commission Chief Accountant Donald Nicolaisen hopes to see the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board take the lead on auditor-independence issues, according to published reports.

"While the commission staff will continue to provide companies and audit committees with guidance on auditor-independence issues, we look forward to the PCAOB expanding its role and becoming the primary standard-setter and the primary source of advice and guidance on these issues," Nicolaisen reportedly said during a PCAOB roundtable last week.

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