Sarbox watchdog to leave SEC

An SEC commisioner at the heart of efforts to make sure the Sarbanes- Oxley
millstone was not too heavy is to leave the watchdog.

Paul Atkins, seen as a key crusader in watering down the demands of the US
reporting requirements is to depart as his term of office comes to an end after
almost six years in the job.

SEC Chairman Christopher Cox said: ‘As a result of his exceptional devotion
to ensuring that the costs of regulation are kept in line with its benefits, the
implementation of Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 has been rationalized with benefits
for investors and companies alike.’

Atkins was one of the key figures responsible for reining in the excesses of
the now-repealed Audit Standard 2, which implemented internal control
requirements of the Act.

Commissioner Atkins said, ‘I have had the honour of serving at the SEC during
some of the most challenging times for the agency and the capital markets. I
started in the wake of the Enron and WorldCom scandals and the enactment of
Sarbanes-Oxley, which imposed a very demanding rulemaking timeline on the SEC.
With the hard work of my colleagues on the commission and the talented staff, we
were able to address those problems. We are once again in difficult times, and I
am confident that the dedicated men and women at the SEC will be able to
overcome the current challenges.’

‘He has championed rulemaking designed to make disclosure documents for
mutual funds and corporations more straightforward and user-friendly, foreign
investment more accessible to U.S. investors seeking to diversify their
portfolios, and raising capital easier for small businesses,’ the SEC added.

Further reading:

Read the full SEC
statement here

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