Today I have signed into law H.R. 3763, "An Act to protect investors by improving the accuracy and reliability of corporate disclosures made pursuant to the securities laws, and for other purposes." The Act adopts tough new provisions to deter and punish corporate and accounting fraud and corruption, ensure justice for wrongdoers, and protect the interests of workers and shareholders.
Several provisions of the Act require careful construction by the executive branch as it faithfully executes the Act.
The legislative purpose of sections 302, 401, and 906 of the Act, relating to certification and accuracy of reports, is to strengthen the existing corporate reporting system under section 13(a) and 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Accordingly, the executive branch shall construe this Act as not affecting the authority relating to national security set forth in section 13(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
To ensure that no infringement on the constitutional right to petition the Government for redress of grievances occurs in the enforcement of section 1512(c) of title 18 of the U.S. Code, enacted by section 1102 of the Act, which among other things prohibits corruptly influencing any official proceeding, the executive branch shall construe the term "corruptly" in section 1512(c)(2) as requiring proof of a criminal state of mind on the part of the defendant.
Given that the legislative purpose of section 1514A of title 18 of the U.S. Code, enacted by section 806 of the Act, is to protect against company retaliation for lawful cooperation with investigations and not to define the scope of investigative authority or to grant new investigative authority, the executive branch shall construe section 1514A(a)(1)(B) as referring to investigations authorized by the rules of the Senate or the House of Representatives and conducted for a proper legislative purpose.
GEORGE W. BUSH
The White House, July 30, 2002.