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Sarbanes Oxley Compliance at 90% Among US Firms - Survey

- Only 20% Think It’s “Good Law”

- European Implementation at 42%

Dublin, Ireland 16 May 2006 – Compliance with the Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX), which was signed into law by President Bush in July 2002 as a response to the scandals of Enron and Worldcom, is running at 90% among US firms, according to a new industry survey, sponsored by Dublin operational risk management software firm Ci3. The figure for European implementation is at 42% according to the survey - SOX measures also apply to European public companies with listings on US stock exchanges such as NYSE or NASDAQ, or which are required to make filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, (SEC).

However, while compliance is running at 90%, the survey shows that 80% of US respondents feel the costs of complying to be excessive, with critics labeling SOX ‘a knee jerk reaction to these scandals, and so it is unwieldy, expensive, and hinders the efficient functioning of business.’ Only 20% of US respondents and 27% of European respondents believe SOX is a good law.

“It is clear that the legislation is not being viewed favourably especially in the US, mainly because of the high costs involved in compliance and implementation”, comments Richard Pike Director of Ci3, the survey’s sponsors. “However it may be the case - borne out by the 26% of costs associated with consultancy within SOX - that this is as a result of the in-depth nature of the process at the beginning and that the ongoing costs will be considerably lower, especially if institutions dovetail SOX compliance with other compliance requirements (e.g. Basel II). The EU has also intimated that it will not be going the prescriptive route for any similar legislation it might enact in the future.”

The Sarbanes Oxley survey was undertaken by Operational Risk and Compliance Magazine during March and April 2006, and was sponsored by Ci3.