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The House Energy and Commerce Committee asked accounting firm Arthur Andersen for information about an Oct. 12 memo that reportedly addresses how documents in the firm's dealings with



should be handled.

Reports said the panel believes the memo might have instructed Andersen's Enron audit team to abide by firm policy to destroy electronic and paper documents relating to audits.

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Andersen admitted last week that its employees had destroyed a "significant" number of documents related to the audit. Enron filed for bankruptcy in early December after questions arose about its financial statements and accounting.

The Justice Department has since opened a criminal investigation into the collapse, in which thousands of Enron employees lost most or all of their retirement savings.

David Tabolt, an Andersen spokesman, told

The Wall Street Journal

, "We acknowledge that there were internal communications that raise questions. Until we know more, it would be inappropriate to comment further."

The committee is seeking information on the Oct. 12 memo from Andersen's professional standards group and also wants to know if the firm's employees continued destroying documents after a subpoena was issued by the SEC on Nov. 8.