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Lawmaker Questions Sarbanes-Oley

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A Republican member of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee says she wants Congress to hold hearings next year on the effects of Sarbanes-Oxley Act financial reporting rules on small businesses.[@@]

Rep. Sue Kelly, R-N.Y., chairman of the Financial Services Committee’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, talked about plans for the hearing last week in Newport, R.I., at the summer meeting of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators, Troy, N.Y.

The difficulty of complying with Sarbanes-Oxley “is something that has concerned me for quite a while,” Kelly said.

Rep. Michael Oxley, R-Ohio, the chairman of the full committee, has “agreed we should hold hearings next year,” Kelly said.

In another NCOIL meeting session, a state representative, Rep. Joe Hune, R-Hamburg Township, Mich., suggested that NCOIL could come up with an alternative to a proposal being developed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Kansas City, Mo., that could impose Sarbanes-Oxley-style reporting provisions on mutual insurance companies.

Virginia Deputy Insurance Commissioner Douglas Stolte, the main force behind the NAIC effort, said he would be amenable to alternatives.

Neil Alldredge, a representative for the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, Indianapolis, said any alternative should focus on solvency reforms rather than on rules based on shareholder protection.

CORRECTION: Due to an editing error, the panel likely to hold the Sarbanes-Oxley hearing was misidentified in the first version of this story. The correct panel is the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee at the House Financial Services Committee.


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