Head of new US accountancy regulator resigns

Link: SEC in crisis

His departure follows that of Harvey Pitt, as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, who fought for Webster’s appointment to the job.

Pitt was finally forced to go when it emerged that he backed Webster to head the accountancy regulator even though he knew the former secret service man was connected to a scandal US Technologies where he had served on the company’s audit committee.

The SEC’s chief accountant Bob Herdman also resigned because he too knew of Webster’s background.

The latest resignation leaves efforts in the US to rebuild public confidence in accountancy is disarray. Not only has the disastrous episodes of Enron and WorldCom shattered the perception of corporate governance and accounting integrity, but the regulators themselves have now become victims of the scandal.

There is as yet no indication of who will succeed Pitt at the SEC, which is a presidential appointment. Not until a new board of SEC commissioners is completed will a replacement be sought for Webster who had been in his post for less than a month.

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