New SEC chair seeks to clean house

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WASHINGTON, DC -Mary Schapiro, new chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), is looking at a number of ways to help improve oversight at the regulator following a series of failures to spot major frauds and banking failures.

A review of board oversight in the wake of the US banking crisis has been launched as part of the drive to improve risk controls and corporate governance. And Shapiro is reported to have consulted officials at intelligence and law enforcement agencies about the technology they use to sort through information to help spot fraud. She has also appointed former federal prosecutor Robert Khuzami as the new director of the SEC enforcement division.

Reports by SEC officials in the Washington Post have said Schapiro is also expected to introduce new requirements obliging board members to disclose their background and skills, particularly in the area of risk management. There could also be new powers for shareholders to help them shape the composition of top-level management.

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