In light of recent top Fortune 100 companies failing to "police themselves" liabilities/lawsuits soon followed. Shareholders cried out loud and pension funds evaporated. However, the expectation of large corporations to "police themselves", and adhere to high ethical standards can be overwhelming especially if all board members are not "on board".
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act came in to being in response to the Enron collapse of some years back as a way of certifying that a company's financial information is accurate and correct. The Act created multiple layers of checks and double checks causing corporations to hire more people to deal with the extra paperwork burden. I believe it has failed because it did not put an end to corrupt and dishonest dealings as it was supposed to do.
Almost every law or regulation produces some positive benefit. The typical question is whether that benefit is outweighed by the costs, be they understood at time of passage or, as is more often the case, unintended and unforeseen. Sarbanes-Oxley has burdened the US financial market with costly rules and regulations that have reduced international competitiveness. For instance, foreign firms that otherwise would be investing in the US have de-listed from American markets to avoid onerous and excessive compliance costs. Sarbanes-Oxley should be revisited and simplified to make it less of a burden on the economy.
No, I do not think that this act has failed at all, and I think that it is still in effect and doing its job very well even today. I think that this act has a strong background, and is doing a whole lot of good for the people here.
I do not think that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act has failed. I think that there have been miss steps and areas which could have been addressed more effectively, but as a whole it is working and has worked very well. Especially initially. Maybe it's time for some revising or revamping to improve things.