The U.S. Chamber of Commerce issued a report on the enforcement efforts of the SEC. The report contains fifteen recommendations, some of which tie back to the report of the Wells Commission. Among the recommendations is one that states the SEC “should review the reasons for recent litigation setbacks, and should consider whether . . . [it] is attempting to shift the standards for civil liability . . .” Other recommendations suggest that the SEC consider: using formal reprimands in some cases as suggested in the 1972 Wells Committee; clarify the standards for seeking fines; make it clear that a waiver of attorney-client privilege is not required to be viewed as cooperative; not impose fines for lack of cooperation; make it clear that it will not deem it to be uncooperative if a company indemnifies an employee or advances legal fees and expenses in connection with an SEC investigation or litigation; and view good faith reliance on attorneys and accountants as relevant to enforcement decisions. The full report is available on the Chamber’s web site at http://www.uschamber.com/publications/reports/0603sec.htm
Bob Greifeld, President and CEO of Nasdaq, called for a small issuer exemption from SOX in an article published today. Specifically, Mr Greifeld urged that the proposal recommended by the SEC’s Advisory Committee on Smaller Public Companies be adopted. Under that proposal issuers with less than $128 million in market capital and revenue under $125 million would be exempt from Section 404. Companies with up to $78 million in market capital and less than $250 million in revenue would receive a partial exemption. Wall Street Journal, A 14 (March 6, 2006).