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SEC Appoints PCAOB New Member; Aguilar Dissents

Tammy Whitehouse | February 6, 2012

The Securities and Exchange Commission has appointed Jeanette Franzel, managing director of the Government Accountability Office, to replace Daniel Goelzer as a member of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board – but not unanimously.

Franzel leads all aspects of GAO's financial audit oversight of the U.S. federal government, leading a staff of about 250 that focuses on financial and performance audits, proper use of federal funds, internal control, financial systems, and federal audit and financial management policy, according to the SEC. But she's never established herself as an advocate for investors, says Commissioner Luis Aguilar, and so she doesn't meet the statutory mandate for a PCAOB member. “I believe the Commission is bound to appoint an individual whose actions, public statements, and reputation demonstrate a clear and steadfast advocacy of the rights and interests of investors,” he said in a prepared statement.

SEC Commissioner Mary Schapiro doesn't share Aguilar's concern. “Jeanette's commitment to the public trust and America's investors is demonstrated by her life-long public service and her constant dedication to increasing accountability, audit quality, and audit standards,” she said in appointing Franzel. “She has extensive hands-on experience leading financial audits and deep expertise in audit quality control, which will serve the PCAOB well as it continues to execute a rigorous standard-setting, inspections, and enforcement agenda.”

SEC Chief Accountant James Kroeker is on board as well, according to his prepared remarks. “Her qualifications as a nationally and internationally recognized expert in auditing standards will benefit the PCAOB as it works to protect the interests of investors and strengthen audit quality,” he said. Franzel is a certified public accountant, certified internal auditor, certified management accountant, and certified financial manager. She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees at the College of St. Teresa and George Mason University.

PCAOB Chairman James Doty welcomed the appointment, also in a prepared statement. “Jeanette's extensive experience in the field of securities regulation and auditing standards will enable her to hit the ground running," he said. "I am delighted to have her join the Board."

Franzel will fill the vacancy created by the departure of Daniel Goelzer, the last original member of the PCAOB to exit the board. Goelzer served as acting chairman for more than a year between the departure of Mark Olson and the appointment of Doty.