SEC calls for better corporate disclosure

Feb. 13, 2002 at 4:05 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- In an effort to improve corporate disclosure rules, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Wednesday that it would introduce a number of measures to enhance transparency.

Specifically, the SEC said it would call for accelerated reporting and filing of quarterly and annual reports by companies and require them to post their reports on the Internet at the same time they are filed with the SEC.

"These steps will provide significant improvements quickly while other proposals are considered," said SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt. "We anticipate further reform proposals covering financial reporting and disclosure requirements, accounting standard setting, regulation of the auditing process and profession and corporate governance."

The SEC also called for the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq to review their corporate governance and listing standards, including officer and director qualifications as well as the codes of conduct of public companies.

"While no set of rules can stop every venal actor determined to put personal interests ahead of those of the companies they manage, we believe that there are a number of ways that current corporate governance standards can be improved to strengthen the resolve of honest managers and the directors who oversee management's actions," Pitt stated.

The SEC did not mention any specific reason or the agency to issue such proposals, but it is clear that the latest scandal involving the bankruptcy of energy trading giant Enron Corp. that spurred the latest review of rules.

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