On August 3, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a final rule defining the term “significant deficiency” as “A deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting that is less severe than a material weakness, yet important enough to merit attention by those responsible for oversight of the registrant’s financial reporting.” The new definition is supposed to aid senior management at companies which must certify pursuant to Section 302 of the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002 that they have communicated significant deficiencies to the audit committee and the company’s auditors. In its June 27, 2007 interpretive guidance regarding management’s assessment of internal control over financial reporting, the Commission included a revised definition of “material weakness.” The new rule is effective September 10.

http://www.sec.gov/rules/final/2007/33-8829.pdf