Rep. Capuano Attaches Public Representation Amendment to H.R. 3763, The Corporate And Auditing Accountability and Responsibility Acy of 2002

April 24, 2002 -- Rep. Michael E. Capuano attached an amendment today on the House floor to H.R. 3763, the Corporate and Auditing Accountability and Responsibility Act (CAARTA) of 2002. The amendment ensures that the investing public is represented on the five-member accounting oversight board the legislation creates.

"The Enron and Global Crossing bankruptcies have made it clear that we must have greater oversight of the accounting industry," stated Rep. Capuano. "Initially, the board charged with carrying out this responsibility could have been comprised solely of accountants. I believe it is essential to ensure that at least one person on this regulatory board represents the interests of American investors."

As the legislation was originally written, all five members of the Public Regulatory Organization board could be either practicing or non-practicing licensed public accountants. Under the Capuano amendment, at least one member of the board cannot be a licensed CPA. This public member could be a pension fund manager, shareholder advocate, or academic with substantial experience reviewing corporate financial disclosures. This individual will bring a unique perspective to the issues before the board, while ensuring that the concerns of investors and the public, not just the accounting industry, are represented.

H.R. 3763 passed the House of Representatives today on a vote of 334-90, and now moves to the Senate.