Washington (March 13, 2003) -- Those expecting the Securities and Exchange Commission to quickly name a new chairperson for the accounting oversight board will have to cool their heels for at least a month, according to a SEC commissioner.

The SEC is still accepting nominations for the position through Friday, and SEC Commissioner Cynthia Glassman told reporters Wednesday that the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board won’t have a new chairman for at least "four to six weeks."

The PCAOB was mandated by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and has until April 26 to be fully operational.

Glassman said the SEC has already received about 30 names, which will be added to the 450 others who applied prior to the resignation of William Webster.

The SEC elected former CIA director Webster to chair the board in a contentious 3-2 vote, but Webster stepped down shortly afterwards when it was learned that he chaired an audit committee of a public company being investigated for accounting irregularities. SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt also resigned, as did SEC Chief Accountant Robert Herdman.

Glassman said a simple vetting process will eliminate most of the applicants and then the five-member SEC Commission will either vote among themselves or in an open meeting to elect a new chairperson.

In other PCAOB news, the board announced Wednesday that it will hold a special public meeting on Thursday to discuss rules relating to public company funding of the Board’s operations.

As mandated by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the PCAOB’s annual budget (minus registration and annual fees paid by public accounting firms) will be collected from public companies, including both U.S. and foreign private issuers, as well as investment companies.

-- Electronic Accountant Newswire staff

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