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US Public Oversight Board votes to cease operations

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28 Jan 2002

The US Public Oversight Board (POB) – which since 1977 has been the independent, private-sector oversight body for the accounting profession – has voted to terminate operations not later than 31 March 2002. The decision (by a ) (27k) was made as a result of a (PDF 43k) issued by Harvey Pitt, Chairman of the SEC – precipitated by the Enron case – that seemed to suggest the SEC's "proposals for changing the system of self-regulation of the accounting profession do not include a place for the POB".

The POB communicated its views to the SEC in a dated 21 January (PDF 38k). Mr. Pitt's Reply of 22 January (GIF 25k) expressed regret at the POB's decision, saying that "the issues, I think, are too important for the POB simply to walk away". A number of countries have set up or are considering a professional self-regulatory structure similar to that in the United States. The POB reaffirmed its decision to close in a (PDF 36k).

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