Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich has indicated that he will unveil a bill this week proposing that the federal government take over the audits of public companies through the creation of a Federal Bureau of Audits.
In the most radical proposal to be discussed so far on auditor reform, Kucinich's proposal would sidestep all public accounting firms and would take over the auditing of all publicly held corporations through a proposed new arm of the SEC.
"Americans rely on the FBI to protect them from criminals and terrorists. But who protects American shareholders from corporate criminals? The Enron scandal suggests audit cops are needed -- the Federal Bureau of Audits," said Kucinich.
Insiders and industry analysts agree that this kind of proposal is extreme and may even be counterproductive in the call for auditor reform. But Kucinich has some followers on Capitol Hill who are prepared to stand with him in his proposal.
Kucinich said he would unveil his bill -- the Investor, Shareholder and Employee Protection Act of 2002 -- at a press conference on Wednesday in the Capitol with consumer activist Ralph Nader.