President Bush said the following 10 new measures would increase corporate responsibility by increasing criminal penalties and enforcement provisions for those "who refuse to play by the rules and threaten to undermine the integrity of our financial markets":
— An executive order creating a Corporate Fraud Task Force to provide direction for investigations and prosecutions of criminal activity. The Task Force will provide oversight and enable improved inter-agency coordination of civil and criminal investigations.
— Doubling the maximum prison term for mail and wire fraud to 10 years.
— Enhanced prison time for criminal fraud when committed by corporate officers and directors.
— Strengthening laws that criminalize document shredding and other forms of obstruction of justice.
— New provisions to strengthen the ability of the Securities and Exchange Commission to freeze improper payments to corporate executives while a company is under investigation.
— Public companies' compensation committees should prevent corporate officers from receiving loans from their companies.
— CEOs should comply with the spirit of existing disclosure rules by explaining how their compensation packages are in the best interests of their companies' shareholders, and describing in plain English in their companies' annual reports every detail of their compensation packages.
— Congress should take immediate action to pass the $20 million funding increase requested earlier this year so that the SEC can hire 100 new enforcement officers. Congress should also provide an additional $100 million in FY 2003 to enable the SEC to hire more enforcement officers and provide them with state-of-the-art technology. The new funds, combined with the president's proposed FY 2003 budget, represent more than a 20 percent increase for the SEC in FY 2003.
— The nation's stock markets should require that a majority of a company's directors be truly independent so that they have no material relationship with the company. All members of a company's audit committee, nominating committee and compensation committee should be truly independent.
— The nation's stock markets should require listed companies to receive shareholder approval for all stock option plans.