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Senator Paul Sarbanes and Representative Michael Oxley Claim Corporate Legislation Works

Senator Paul Sarbanes and Representative Michael Oxley Claim Corporate Legislation Works

by Rick Turoczy on March 10, 2005

A pair of lawmakers who led the fight to approve a major corporate-responsibility initiative said yesterday that the law should be given more time to work before Congress decides whether to tinker with its sometimes controversial and costly provisions.

Making a rare joint appearance at a Washington meeting of corporate lawyers, Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes (D-Md.) and Rep. Michael G. Oxley (R-Ohio) said the 2002 law that bears their names mostly has worked as intended, to crack down on financial abuses that hurt investors.

The law created a tough, new oversight panel for auditors, increased criminal penalties for document tampering, gave corporate board members heightened responsibility and barred companies from making loans to their top executives.

Business groups have been complaining that parts of the law are too expensive and unwieldy, pointing to language that requires executives to vouch for the accuracy of financial controls at their companies. Surveys indicate those efforts could cost more than $5 million at a large publicly traded firm. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Financial Services Roundtable are calling on Congress to make what they say are technical changes to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

Senator Paul Sarbanes and Representative Michael Oxley Claim Corporate Legislation Works

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