CHICAGO -- An ethics code approved by religious broadcasters will help prevent scandals like those that led to Jim Bakker's downfall and may restore public trust in other television preachers, the Rev. Jerry Falwell's spokesman says.

The code, approved Sept. 11 by board members of the National Association of Religious Broadcasters, calls on all 1,300 association members to submit to full, independent annual audits of all financial dealings.

The audits will be available to the public, said Executive Director Ben Armstrong.

"Perhaps had there been something like this 10 years ago, the tragedy that happened there {at the PTL ministry} might not have happened," said Mark DeMoss, spokesman for Falwell, who took over PTL from Bakker.

"There's not a foolproof method or code of ethics, but we think this goes a long way."

Association members "will be disclosing every source of income -- every donation if need be -- and every expediture: salaries, cars, staffs' remuneration, everything," Armstrong said.

Members who refuse will be denied use of a seal of approval from the association's new Ethics and Financial Integrity Commission, established to administer association policy on ethics and financial responsibility, Armstrong said.

About 50 members of the 90-member board of directors attended the meeting here, including Falwell, association President Robert Cook, and representatives of evangelist Billy Graham and Republican presidential aspirant Marion G. (Pat) Robertson.