Sarbox: Oxley 'Would Have Done It Differently'

Lora Bentley

Former Rep. Michael Oxley (R-Ohio), who retired from politics last year, joined an Ohio-based law firm's Washington, D.C., offices to work in the government policy group. He will practice in the areas of "corporate consulting, financial services and capital markets," according to bizjournals.


However, he's also in the news this week for admitting to a group of accountants in Paris recently that, given the chance, he would draft the Sarbanes-Oxley Act differently. The Act, which he co-authored with former Democratic Sen. Paul Sarbanes, was enacted in 2002 in response to the collapses of Enron and WorldCom. It has been called "crushing" legislation and is blamed for a large part of the recent digital data explosion.


Accountants from as far away as Australia have taken Oxley's comments and run with them, adding their voices to the call to relax the Act's accounting requirements. One quoted in The Australian today noted that the comments "amounted to an apology" and should be a call to today's lawmakers to "avoid knee-jerk legislation." What remains, he says, is to work toward decreasing the burden on accountants.

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