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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., introduced a bill today that would allow professionals needed to enforce corporate accountability laws to be hired more quickly.

Enzi introduced S. 496 today to help ease restrictions on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to exempt accountants, economists and compliance examiners from time- consuming civil service hiring requirements.

Currently, only attorneys hired by the SEC are considered an "excepted service," or exempt from civil service requirements, but accountants, economists, and other professionals at the SEC must follow more restrictive hiring measures.

"This inefficient hiring process can take six months to a year to complete. That's too much time wasted on red-tape when we need people to crack down on corporate crime now," said Enzi, chairman of the Subcommittee on Securities and Investment of the Senate Banking Committee. "The quicker we can get accountants hired, the quicker the SEC can get to work doing proper oversight to eliminate corporate corruption and strengthen investor confidence."

Enzi said all attorney positions at the SEC have been filled, but 60 percent of the accountant slots are still open. This has resulted in a shortage of hundreds of accountants at the SEC.

Similar legislation has also been introduced in the House. Enzi's bill has been referred to the Senate Banking Committee.