CIO Executive Council Informs U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission of Sarbanes-Oxley’s Impact on Nation’s CIOs

FRAMINGHAM, MA – APRIL12, 2005 – The CIO Executive Council, a professional organization of chief information officers (CIOs), is attending the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC's) April 13th Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOA) Implementation Roundtable to encourage dialogue between the SEC and the nation's leading CIOs. The Council represents 230+ CIO members from more than 30 different industries who are responsible for establishing procedures that will meet SOA requirements and create business value for their organizations.

"Our members are impacted by this regulation, and the council's SOA taskforce is finalizing a soon-to-be-released implementation guide or "playbook" to help CIOs understand the complexities of Sarbanes-Oxley and how it impacts their role and their organization," says Mark Hall, General Manager of the CIO Executive Council.

On March 31, 2005, the Council submitted comments in response to the SEC's recent solicitation for feedback on SOA implementation. These comments illustrate some of the top challenges CIOs faced during the first year of SOA compliance, as well as some of the potential benefits to be gained, including:

Top Challenges of SOA:

— Cost of Compliance: To meet compliance deadlines, some CIOs have been forced to shift their organization's focus and budget away from other IT projects and investments;

— Uncertainty About Baselining: Lack of clarity about baselining (the process of establishing a "baseline" upon which management can support conclusions about the integrity of application processing and justify a more limited testing scope): In some instances, uncertainty about baselining prolonged the SOA implementation timeline;

— Inconsistent Approach By External Auditors: Forty-two percent of council members recently polled stated that SOA compliance auditors have not helped them comply with SOA.

Potential Benefits of SOA:

— SOA creates an impetus to put necessary business processes in place that might otherwise be neglected or ignored due to competing priorities;

— SOA establishes metrics to evaluate how well business processes are performing; and,

— SOA provides a potential indicator of new business needs and opportunities.

The council's Sarbanes-Oxley taskforce, co-chaired by Marc West, CIO of H&R Block, and Larry Brown, CIO of Arch Coal, is charged with helping CIOs effectively manage the ongoing process of achieving Sarbanes-Oxley compliance.

NOTE TO MEDIA: For a copy of the CIO Executive Council's comments to the SEC, or for commentary from Mark Hall, General Manager, CIO Executive Council; Marc West, CIO, H&R Block; or Larry Brown, CIO, Arch Coal, contact please contact Karen Fogerty, director of external relations for the CIO Executive Council at 508.254.9285.

About the CIO Executive Council:

Launched in April 2004, the CIO Executive Council ( www.cioexecutivecouncil.com ) is a professional organization of CIOs created for the purpose of achieving lasting change within critical industry, academic, media and governmental groups. The council is founded by CXO Media Inc., which publishes the award-winning CIO magazine (launched in 1987), www.cio.com , the CIO Insider, CSO magazine, CSOonline.com, darwinmag.com, www.cmomagazine.com and CMO magazine. The company also produces CIO Executive Programs, a series of face-to-face conferences, and the CSO Executive Council, a new, professional organization of chief security officers (CSOs) and chief information security officers (CISOs). CXO Media is a subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world's leading technology media, research and conference company.

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