Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner outlined a set of compensation "principles" impacting publicly traded companies in a statement released today. Included in the principles are two pieces of proposed legislation which Congress would first need to pass in order to become law. The first, which is commonly referred to as "say on pay" legislation, would give the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) "authority to require companies to give shareholders a non-binding vote on executive compensation packages," according to today's statement The second piece of proposed legislation would give "the SEC the power to ensure that compensation committees are more independent, adhering to standards similar to those in place for audit committees as part of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. At the same time, compensation committees would be given the responsibility and the resources to hire their own independent compensation consultants and outside counsel," also according to today's statement.
Click here for Treasury Secretary Geithner's statement, click here for the Treasury Department's "say on pay" fact sheet, and click here for the Treasury Department's "Providing Compensation Committees New Independence" fact sheet.