September 4, 2015 – September 11, 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.
NYT: Companies Struggle to Comply with Rules on Conflict Minerals
Lynnley Browning, in her article titled Companies Struggle to Comply with Rules on Conflict Minerals, highlights the challenges companies face in complying with the obligations of the conflict minerals rule.
In her article, Ms. Browning featured our very own Dynda Thomas, leader of the Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP conflict minerals team. Dynda noted one of the specific challenges companies should consider when complying with the rule, particularly when drafting their public disclosure, stating “[companies] have to balance the risk of being a good corporate citizen with…getting sued by activist investors, consumers or nonprofits who unearth discrepancies.”
Government Finds “Most Companies Were Unable to Determine the Source of their Conflict Minerals”
Last month, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (the “GAO”) published a report titled SEC Conflict Minerals Rule: Initial Disclosures Indicate Most Companies Were Unable to Determine the Source of Their Conflict Minerals and found that in the 2014 filings (related to the 2013 calendar year) 67% of the companies in its generalized sample “were unable to determine whether [conflict minerals] came from the DRC or adjoining countries (Covered Countries), and none could determine whether the minerals financed or benefited armed groups in those countries. According to the GAO, companies “cited difficulty obtaining necessary information from suppliers because of delays and other challenges in communication.”
Supply & Demand Chain Executive – Conflict Minerals: The Time Is Near
In his article titled Conflict Minerals: The Time Is Near, Barry Hochfelder of Supply & Demand Chain Executive reports on a whole host of aspects related to the conflict minerals rule including, consumer and activist watchdog groups activities, the European Union conflict minerals draft regulation, a primer on the conflict minerals rule and gaining visibility into one’s supply chain.
In regards to gaining visibility into one’s supply chain, Barry echoes what we have been saying all along: “[w]hile performing this due diligence, companies would be wise to keep their eyes open for other violations.”