Statement of William McDonough
April 15, 2003
First and foremost, I thank Chairman Donaldson and all of the Commissioners of the Securities and Exchange Commission for the confidence they have accorded by nominating me as Chairman of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB).
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, under which the PCAOB was created, was passed by the Congress and President Bush in response to the extraordinary challenge to the integrity of the American economic system caused by scandals in the business community. I fully support the intent and purpose of this Act and pledge that I will do every thing I can to carry out the mandate assigned to me and the PCAOB.
The task before us is to restore the confidence of the American people and others around the world that the accounting statements issued by public companies registered in our country and certified by public accounting firms present a complete, true and timely report that can be relied on. Confidence in the accuracy of accounting statements is the bedrock of investors being willing to invest, in lenders to lend, and for employees knowing that their firm's obligations to them can be trusted. It is a basic step in the reform process that faces our nation's corporate leaders and the accounting profession. It would be difficult to understate the importance to our country, particularly now, of maintaining its well-earned reputation as a safe and respected nation in which to do business. The great majority of those in the private sector have honorably upheld that tradition.
Excellent work already has begun under the very competent Acting Chairman, Charles Niemeier and the other distinguished members of the PCAOB. I look forwarding to joining them as soon as the necessary background work regarding my nomination is completed and as soon as I wrap up my responsibilities at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. If the Commission approves my appointment, I envision taking up my new position shortly thereafter.
I see the job of the PCAOB as providing guidance in a constructive manner and, when necessary, to be a tough overseer to protect the public's interests and assure that any inappropriate behavior is ended. I have spent more than half my professional life in public service and this is one of the more interesting challenges I can imagine. I am honored to have this opportunity.