January 25, 2013 – February 1, 2013
The summaries provided in this Weekly Recap do not necessarily represent the views of Squire Sanders (US) LLP and should not be deemed to be endorsements of them. The Recap is intended to be a compilation of articles and events to encourage discussion within the conflict minerals community and to keep our readers updated on the most recent developments.
Dialogic Inc. – Conflict Minerals Policy
Dialogic Inc. (Dialogic), a leading provider of innovative products to enhance the performance of global-telecom networks, recently released its conflict minerals policy. Excerpts from Dialogic’s conflict minerals policy follow. “Dialogic…understands that electronic and telecommunications equipment uses minerals such as tin, tantalum tungsten and gold in components and sub-assemblies.” “Dialogic fully supports…measures to eradicate the use of conflict minerals.” “Dialogic does not directly purchase minerals from smelters or other mineral processors, and is several layers removed from these processors within the supply chain.” “Dialogic is committed to using internal resources and its influence as a company to comply with applicable conflict minerals laws…”
Conflict Minerals Rule Legal Challenge and Compliance
William Newman, an adjunct faculty member of Northwood University, observes that although parties are currently briefing their arguments in the conflict minerals legal challenge, trial proceedings could still be 12-18 months away. If this is the resulting timing, companies would be in their second year of compliance before a decision is handed down. Based on this expected timing, it is unlikely that the current legal challenge will provide companies a delay in complying with the conflict minerals rule. Mr. Newman recommends that companies continue following through with their compliance plan as if the conflict minerals rule was not under challenge.
Time to Develop a Conflict Minerals Compliance Strategy
Jim Low, a partner at the U.S. audit, tax and advisory firm KPMG LLP, says now is the time to act. “For companies that are already developing a conflict minerals compliance framework, the process is being led by C-level executives, with the board of directors and the CEO driving the process.” These C-level executives are involving many corporate departments including, but not limited to supply chain and procurement, legal counsel, finance, and auditing.
For more on developing a conflict minerals compliance strategy, see building a conflict minerals compliance framework.
MetalMiner: Supplier-Centric Approach to Conflict Minerals Compliance
In MetalMiner’s recently published white paper, it is noted that a supplier-centric approach to conflict minerals compliance might make sense for companies with tens of thousands of parts, but the approach remains risky. “A supplier-centric approach to conflict minerals compliance involves the use of the sorts of sourcing surveys or tools such as the EICC-GeSI template.” MetalMiner provides an example of one company that used a supplier-centric approach to compliance and received a 40% completion response rate. For a supplier-centric approach to work, MetalMiner argues that active process management is required.
iRobot: Conflict Minerals Policy
iRobot, a leading global company in the development of robotics and artificial intelligence technology, recently released its conflict minerals policy. Excerpts from the conflict minerals policy follow. “[iRobot] has either obtained, or is in the process of obtaining, information from [its] current metal suppliers concerning the origin the metals that are used in the manufacture of iRobot products.” “Suppliers of metals used in the manufacture of iRobot products (specifically gold, tin, tantalum, and tungsten) must demonstrate that they understand the conflict minerals laws and will not knowingly procure specified metals that originate from the [central African region].” Suppliers must review and agree in writing to several statements.