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SEC May Reject PCAOB $153 Million Budget, People Say

SEC May Reject PCAOB $153 Million Budget, People Say

by Rick Turoczy on December 10, 2004

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission may reject a $153 million budget request from an accounting oversight board that gives employees average pay increases of 30 percent, people familiar with the matter said.

The average salary at the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), led by William McDonough, would be $203,000 a year, said the people, who declined to be identified. That’s about $60,000 more than the annual pay of SEC Chairman William Donaldson.

The SEC is reviewing a budget that more than doubled in the two years since its creation following the bankruptcies of companies including Enron Corp. and WorldCom Inc. As a nonprofit group funded by publicly traded companies, it has less incentive than government agencies to curb costs, said Peter Wallison, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington.

“I just don’t see that there is any effective control over this organization,” said Wallison, a former White House counsel under President Ronald Reagan.

SEC spokesman Matt Well said the agency is “working very closely with the PCAOB on their budget.” He declined further comment. The agency has the responsibility under the Sarbanes-Oxley law to approve the board’s budget.

SEC May Reject PCAOB $153 Million Budget, People Say

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