SEC prepared to tackle possible PCAOB budget cuts: Walter

WASHINGTON Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:25am EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Elisse Walter said Wednesday her agency is prepared to work with the country's top audit watchdog should automatic and drastic budget cuts known as "sequestration" take effect in March.

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, a nonprofit corporation, would face a potential $18 million cut to its budget if sequestration took effect, according to a White House budget document released last year. The PCAOB does not receive any congressional appropriations, funding its budget through fees on public companies and brokers.

"I would expect that in the event that sequestration occurs and the PCAOB's 2013 budget is indeed affected, the PCAOB will work with the Commission and Commission staff as appropriate regarding implementation of sequestration," Walter said.

(Reporting By Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)