Release Date: Jul 15, 2002Contact: 888-249-NEWS
U.S. Chamber Acknowledges Corporate Reform Efforts
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United States Chamber of Commerce commended the Senate's effort to address mounting corporate accounting scandals with a comprehensive bill to strengthen reporting requirements, legislate greater transparency, and protect workers and investors.
"The Senate went a long way toward tightening the regulations that protect workers, retirees, and investors and toward ensuring that all businesses play by the rules," said Bruce Josten, U.S. Chamber executive vice president. "Moving beyond political finger-pointing to legitimate reform will help calm market unrest and restore confidence."
Despite some lingering concerns with a few elements of the Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act of 2002 (S 2673), sponsored by Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-MD), the Chamber expressed its support for language that protects workers' retirement funds, gives small businesses greater flexibility in contracting for non-audit services, and increases transparency requirements.
Public scrutiny and constructive criticism will strengthen and improve our economic institutions, according to the Chamber. Yet, the business community has repeatedly reminded lawmakers and regulators not to lose sight of the fact that the overwhelming majority of executives at the 17,000 public companies in the United States go about their work with honesty and high ethical standards every day.
"The final Senate bill remains a mixed bag," said Josten. "The conferees must eliminate the unintended consequences of the Senate's good intentions. Creating more bureaucratic red tape and putting class action attorneys into boardrooms will not improve our economic system. The business community supports swift conference action to reach a compromise bill that the president can sign into law."
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector and region.
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