Jul 16 2002

ACCOUNTING REFORM BILL PASSES SENATE

Statement of Senator Richard C. Shelby

U. S. Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.) today commented on accounting reform legislation that has been passed by the U.S. Senate:

"I believe the interests of America's investors were seriously compromised by the significant shortcomings in the financial information provided to the public. By passing this legislation, the Senate has taken a very important step to address these deficiencies. This legislation contains numerous provisions which will help insure that the accurate and timely information that investors need will be provided to the marketplace."

"To deal with the audit failures and restatements which cost investors billions, this legislation creates a strong, independent oversight body that can 'audit the auditors' and punish those who break the rules. Additionally, this legislation eliminates the sticky entanglement between the people who write the accounting rules and the accountants that use them so that qualified, independent standard setters can go about developing new rules in an unfettered environment. Ultimately, I believe this system will produce better, more timely rules which, when put in practice, will help provide investors a more accurate depiction of true economic conditions."

"Overall, I believe this legislation favors clarity over complexity, disclosure over dissembling, and fairness over favoritism. For the sake of America's investors, I look forward to continuing working with my colleagues to move this legislation through conference and onto the president's desk so that it can be quickly signed into law."