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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Who Watches Accounting's Watchdog?

Ever since Congress created the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) in 2002, business executives and free-market groups have groused that the accounting-industry regulator wields too much unchecked power. Now, a free-market advocacy group and a small accounting firm are poised to take that complaint to court.

On Feb. 7, the Free Enterprise Fund joined Beckstead & Watts, an accounting firm based in Henderson, Nev., to challenge the constitutionality of the PCAOB in U.S. district court in Washington.

"UNACCOUNTABLE, UNCONSTITUTIONAL." The complaint turns on two points. One is the assertion that the PCAOB exercises wide-ranging governmental powers with little oversight, violating the Constitution's separation of powers. The second issue deals with how five members of PCAOB are appointed.

"The PCAOB is an unaccountable, unconstitutional regulatory body," says Mallory Factor, chairman of the Free Enterprise Fund. "It's the poster child for the dangers of a runaway bureaucracy.

posted by Brian Moran @ 9:03 AM   0 comments

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