Sarbanes Speaks out on Sarbox

Lora Bentley

In the year since the co-authors of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act retired, we've heard a lot about former Rep. Michael Oxley. He's serving as a vice president of the NASDAQ stock exchange, fills an "of counsel" role at the law firm of Baker Hostetler, and recently became an international adviser for communications consultancy APCO.

 

Former Sen. Paul Sarbanes, on the other hand, has largely managed to stay under the radar. Before receiving an award in Virginia on Wednesday, he sat down with HamptonRoads.com writer Tom Shean to talk about the law that bears his name.

 

Though he never expected to be dealing with Enron issues and the resulting legislation when he took over leadership of the Senate Banking Committee in 2001, and despite the wide-ranging feedback he's gotten from those implementing the law's requirements over the years, Sarbanes says the act has "worked well:"

It takes time to put something of that magnitude in place. A whole new entity, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, was created to oversee the auditors of public companies, set auditing standards and do inspections. Under the statute, there is a lot of latitude for the Securities and Exchange Commission and the board to modify the regulatory arrangements, and I think they've done a pretty good job. The board has attracted some absolutely top-flight people.


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