High salaries threaten US oversight board

Link: Delays hit US inspection of Big Four

The watchdog, set up to police the profession in the US after the disasters of Enron and WorldCom, is offering salaries in excess of $400,000 (£250,000) to its directors and top staff

But last week the Senate approved a Budget change, which barred any federal salary from being higher than the $400,000 paid to president George W. Bush, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Under salary proposals, the chairman of the PCAOB would be paid $560,000, while each board member would get $452,000.

If the matter is not resolved it could further hamper the recruitment process at the watchdog, which has yet to appoint a permanent chairman.

Last year William Webster was forced to step down as chairman only weeks after being appointed after questions were raised about his chairmanship of the audit committee of a company under investigation by the SEC.

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