SEC Chairman Levitt Pleads with Congress

SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt is hopeful that members of Congress will allow him to move forward with plans to limit the scope of services that auditors can perform.

In a letter to various members of Congress including members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, the Senate Banking Committee, and the House Commerce Committee, Levitt indicated his concern that Congressional intervention in his plans to change auditor independence rules could "undermine the SEC's ability to carry out the mission Congress entrusted it to achieve."

Levitt expressed his desire to move forward with the rule proposal, which includes a 10-point list of services that impair independence. This list has been endorsed by PwC and Ernst & Young.

The letter referred to recent meetings between the SEC and members of the Big Five, the firms that would be most affected by the change in auditor independence guidelines, and suggested that discussions have been fruitful.

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