Pitt to get Sarbanes-Oxley Act rolling
US Securities & Exchange Commission chairman Harvey Pitt will today begin the implementation of the new corporate governance rules aimed at restoring investor confidence in corporate America.
The biggest item on the agenda is the requirement that all chief executives and chief financial officers of listed companies certify that their annual and quarterly accounts are accurate and honest on an ongoing basis.
This follows the one-off certification measure demanded by the SEC which forced 942 listed companies to submit oaths of accounting honesty to the commission.
The new requirement has met with some resistance, especially from foreign companies which have listings in the US. The foreign lobby is hoping for some sort of compromise agreement.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act is in response to the corporate accounting scandals at Enron, WorldCom, Xerox and other major American corporation which have shook investor confidence to its core.