Jun 18 2002

SENATE BANKING COMMITTEE PASSES ACCOUNTING REFORM LEGISLATION

The Senate Banking Committee today passed legislation to reform the accounting industry. Senator Shelby commented on the legislation:

"I have been deeply troubled by the fact that investor interests and market function have been compromised by the significant shortcomings in the integrity and accuracy of financial information provided to the public. Audit failures and restatements have cost investors billions and led to a crisis in confidence in the markets."

"I believe it is our responsibility to address this serious issue. But, we must be sure that we do more than pass a bill and conclude that we have dealt with the problem. It is essential that we develop an effective framework that can respond to the practical realities of our dynamic markets."

"To this end, I have been working to create a strong independent oversight body that can 'audit the auditors' and punish those who break the rules. I think the Committee's action today is a very positive step in the right direction."

"As the process moves forward, I believe we must continue to work together to develop the best possible piece of legislation. I remain committed to passing a strong and effective bill because it is in the best interests of our markets and our investors for us to get this job done."