The Supreme Court today issued a ruling in Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. In a 5 to 4 decision, the Court found unconstitutional a key provision of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the anti-fraud law Congress enacted in the aftermath of the Enron and WorldCom accounting scandals. Overturning decisions by the DC District Court and the DC Circuit Court, the Supreme Court held that the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board violated the Appointments Clause of the Constitution because its members are not under the direct control of the President. Senator Leahy (D-VT) was a co-sponsor of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and a principle author of the whistleblower protections established by the Act.‘I am very disappointed by today’s decision in which a bare majority of the Supreme Court found a key provision of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act unconstitutional. This important anti-fraud legislation has been a critical tool for protecting American taxpayers from fraud and corruption. In overturning the lower courts’ decision, the Supreme Court has once again turned its back on its own precedents and disregarded the longstanding judgments of Congress and our efforts to protect Americans from abuses by powerful corporate interests. ‘A key reform enacted by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act was the establishment of the independent Public Company Accounting Oversight Board to regulate accounting firms whose use of convoluted, often fraudulent, accounting schemes misled investors and rocked the financial world. Their deception and greed cost Americans hundreds of billions of dollars. Corporate conservatives attacked this Board as unconstitutional because its members are not under the direct control of the President. A slim majority of the Supreme Court agreed with these corporate interests that the law violates the Constitution’s Appointments Clause, and their decision today guts many of the critical accountability provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act intended to protect the public. ‘Unfortunately, this case is bigger than just the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. As Justice Breyer noted in a vigorous dissent today, this decision may call into question the constitutionality of various mechanisms fashioned by Congress to combat inefficiency and fraud in both the public and business sectors and ‘threatens to disrupt severely the fair and efficient administration of the laws.’ Congress has established dozens of agencies which serve as indispensible corporate watchdogs and whose oversight provides a check on the power of Wall Street. I am very concerned that the Court’s decision today will call into question the ability of these agencies to adequately protect the public. ‘By continuing to issue decisions that benefit corporate risk-takers at the expense of hardworking Americans, the Court has once again undermined the government’s effort to reign in corruption on Wall Street. Congress must take swift action to respond to this disappointing decision, and I look forward to working with Senators from both sides of the aisle to pass legislation that will reinstate the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and the important protections it provides our citizens.’Source: Leahy’s office. 6.28.2010# # # # # #
BCB condemns behavior of Region six sports officerTHE Management of the Berbice Cricket Board would like, in the strongest possible way, condemn the behaviour and attitude of the Regional Sports Officer, Region 6, attached to the National Sports Commission. Since the election of Hilbert Foster as president of the Berbice Cricket Board in February, 2018, the sports officer has unleashed a daily abuse of the president, selected executives and the Rose Hall Town Youth & Sports Club on his Facebook account and also in the public arena.As Regional Sports Officer, it was expected that the government official would seek to work closely with all sports associations to promote the importance of sports in the Region. Over the twenty months of Mr. Foster’s presidency, the sports officer has never contacted or visited the Berbice Cricket Board or sought to find out how he can use his good office to assist us to fulfil our mandates. The Berbice Cricket Board, under Mr. Foster’s leadership, has been willing to work along with every person, organisation and clubs to lift Berbice cricket even higher. Sadly, the Regional Sports Officer, who seemed to have a personal obsession with the president for reasons known only to him, has never reached out to the Berbice Cricket Board.He is very close to some leaders of the Guyana Cricket Board and this seems to be the reason for his unprofessional behaviour. He is known to have signed his government position on a Guyana Cricket Board’s letterhead on matters concerning junior female cricket, scored at GCB Franchise matches during official working time and even organised lunches, refreshments at these matches. At our last Annual General Meeting on the 22nd December, 2019, he was present outside of our office, encouraging delegates to remove the president. Leading up to that meeting, the sports officer was openly campaigning for another candidate, who has failed to turn up while accusing the president of being a supporter of a certain political party. This official also sent/posted messages on social media that he would slap the nineteen-year- old BCB Public Relations Officer on his face whenever he sees him. This was his second threat to this youth.At the election, the BCB president was re-elected 31-0. The sports officer also accused the president of bypassing the position of a vice president for the nomination of a PPP supporter. The truth of the matter is that the vice president indicated that he was not available to serve due to his pressing duties as a senior government official in Region 6. The question that the sports officer needs to answer is how political views affect his capacity to function in an NGO. That officer has also threatened to end the careers of several national players with a single phone call.The Director of Sports and the Minister of Social Cohesion are fully aware of the behaviour of this individual. There are other organisations which have made complaints to the Director and Minister Norton and other government officials. Minister Norton, at a public meeting in Rose Hall Town, was informed of this sickening attitude and he had publicly told the official to put his house in order. Sadly, the situation has gotten worse.The Berbice Cricket Board has no problem with this official and we are willing to work along with him to further develop the lovely game of cricket. All government officials are expected to work along with every Guyanese to develop our country and our tax payers should not be taken for granted. It is a waste of tax payers time to pay salary/wages for persons who seek to cause confusion and to make division among our people. We are open to answer any question from stakeholders of Berbice cricket and should the Region 6 sports officer follow the correct channel, we would answer all of his questions.The daily and constant abuse of our president via social media has most of us worried about his personal and family safety. Should any harm occur to him and his family, that government sports officer would have to take the blame and full responsibility.While we do not seek or cause anyone to lose their jobs, it is the Berbice Cricket Board desire that the relevant Ministry of Social Cohesion Official take the time to correct this situation. The funny thing is that the same Region 6 sports officer served as asst treasurer and then treasurer of the Berbice Cricket Board in 2017 to early 2018, and has failed, to date, to give an account for the withdrawal of over $2M that was withdrawn from the BCB’s account during the period which he served. Requests were made for over 20 months for a Financial Statement and, to date, has never received same.Angela Haniff,Secretary,BCB.