US - Comptroller William Thompson has called on two firms to provide more independence for directors serving on key committees, just days after requesting six firms to disclose all procedures for political contributions using corporate money.
Thompson yesterday filed shareholder proposals urging the EMC Corporation to adopt stronger standards for its audit committee and Clear Channel Communications to adopt stronger standards for its compensation committee.
Thompson also filed a proposal with Safeway that requested the company establish a formal mechanism for direct communications between its independent directors and shareholders.
Tougher standards would reinforce the independence and integrity of directors who serve on these very important committees, said Thompson.
Earlier in the week, Thompson submitted shareholder proposals asking six companies to disclose their policies and procedures for all political contributions using corporate money on behalf of the New York City Pension Funds.
Kenneth Sylvester, assistant comptroller for pension policy said decisions were being made within the corporation to give away assets that belonged to the company and the shareholders. “It seems to make sense to us that the shareholders be fully informed on how these decisions are made and by whom, so they can see if they were made in the company’s interests,” he said.
“We would like these decisions disclosed to shareholders.”
None of the six companies had yet made any attempt to communicate with the comptrollers office, but Sylvester said they remained “hopeful”.
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