January 9, 2015 – January 16, 2015
The summaries provided in this Weekly Recap do not necessarily represent the views of Squire Patton Boggs (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.
Elm Sustainability: IPSA Trigger May Be Delayed
In a recent blog post, the folks over at Elm Sustainability Partners LLC discuss whether the SEC’s April 29, 2014 statement suspending the product description requirement will extend the DRC conflict undeterminable temporary two-year transition period (and the associated waiver of the requirement to obtain an IPSA) that is set to expire for non-smaller reporting companies.
Elm Sustainability ponders, “given the current suspension of the mandate to use the term ‘DRC Conflict Undeterminable,’ does the deferral [to obtain an IPSA] actually end?” Elm Sustainability then notes, “we are seeing a much greater demand from customers to have their publicly-traded suppliers obtain an IPSA for the 2014 filing” and it concludes “on one hand, we see the IPSA deadline being set a year ahead of the requirements, and on the other hand we see the possibility of the deadline extending beyond the 2014 filing year.”
Note: As of today, the answer for calendar year 2014 reporting is that no IPSA is required unless a company claims that a product is “DRC conflict free.” In the SEC’s April 2014 statement, Keith Higgins wrote: “Pending further action, an IPSA will not be required unless a company voluntarily elects to describe a product as ‘DRC conflict free’ in its Conflict Minerals Report.” But note, after the Court of Appeals renders a decision on the rehearing, we believe the SEC will likely issue new guidance that could change the answer.
Students Groups Meet with Brandeis University’s Faculty Senate; Make Edits to Conflict-Free Proposal
According to The Justice, Brandeis University’s independent student newspaper, student groups are proposing that the university take into consideration a supplier’s conflict minerals policy when making procurement decisions.
The proposal is still fluid such that the students are considering narrowing the scope of the proposal to the “bulk of the hardware” that the university purchases (i.e., computers, laptops, copiers, scanners, and servers). A former student representative stated, “It’s mostly about educating people … and to start phasing out … products from irresponsible practices.”