Oxley Covers SOX, Stock Options and Mutual Fund Issues

It’s been two years since Congress passed sweeping reform legislation intended to clean up corporate accounting and stem the wave of fraud that swept through corporate America. Now one of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act sponsors wants to know if the legislation is working as intended.

Rep. Michael Oxley, (R-OH), speaking before the Security Traders Association in Washington on Wednesday, said that the House Financial Services Committee, which he chairs, will hold hearings to review the legislation’s effect this summer.

Saying that President Bush and Congress "can take some credit" for the legislation, Oxley said his committee also wants to know what effect the act known as SOX is having on businesses, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The committee will also hold hearings about the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s controversial proposal to require companies to expense employee stock options, Oxley said, adding it is important for Congress to have a voice in this debate.

"If employment is affected and growth is affected, folks are not going to blame the FASB, they're going to blame the Congress, because we're elected," Oxley told traders.

He also touched on the scandal rocking the $7.5 trillion mutual fund industry, the Journal reported. Oxley said that fund investors have "voted with their feet" by abandoning funds touched by scandal, but that mutual fund investing in general has remained steady.

Oxley said that even though the House passed a mutual fund bill last year, he supports Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Selby’s position that it is up to the SEC to police the mutual fund industry, calling Selby’s approach "appropriate."

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