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U.S. SEC ousts head of accounting watchdog, places remainder of board on discover By Reuters 

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The seal of the U.S. Securities and Change Fee (SEC) is seen at their headquarters in Washington, D.C., U.S., Could 12, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

By Chris Prentice and Katanga Johnson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Securities and Change Fee (SEC) on Friday mentioned it had eliminated the top of the oversight board that units requirements for audits of public corporations and deliberate to interchange the remainder of the board sooner or later.

The SEC mentioned in a press release that it had voted to take away William Duhnke III as chair of the Public Firm Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), a task he has held since January 2018, efficient Friday. The opposite 4 members of the board will keep on, however the SEC — which oversees the accounting watchdog — is soliciting resumes for these roles.

Duhnke’s ouster is a warning shot by the brand new SEC chair Gary Gensler, who took the helm on the markets regulator in April. The PCAOB, which was created by the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act following main accounting scandals, has lengthy been criticized by Democrats for being toothless.

The PCAOB has additionally come beneath criticism by hawks who needed it to take a more durable stance on Chinese language auditors of U.S.-listed Chinese language corporations which have usually evaded U.S. oversight.

“The PCAOB has a possibility to reside as much as Congress’s imaginative and prescient within the Sarbanes-Oxley Act,” Gensler mentioned within the assertion.

Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren and Unbiased Senator Bernie Sanders final month pressed the SEC to right away substitute the board, which they mentioned has fallen down on its job of overseeing audit corporations meant to maintain publicly-traded corporations in examine.

Whereas the SEC didn’t disclose the breakdown of the vote, Hester Peirce and Elad Roisman, the Republican members of the five-person fee, mentioned in a press release that Duhnke’s ousting established a “troubling precedent.”

Former SEC chair Jay Clayton overhauled the PCAOB in 2017, appointing 5 new members together with Duhnke, after the board’s employees leaked confidential data to one of many audit corporations it oversees.

Duane DesParte, who additionally joined the board in 2018, will function performing chair, the SEC mentioned.

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