Washington (March 3, 2003) -- Securities and Exchange Commission enforcers have asked Congress for legislation that would give them expanded access to secret grand jury information against accounting firms and public companies facing securities fraud charges.

The modification to the "grand jury secrecy rule" proposed by SEC would authorize the U.S. Department of Justice to share testimony, evidence and other confidential grand jury information with the commission staff in more circumstances and at an earlier stage than is currently permissible.

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