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SEC acting chairman directs the staff to reconsider conflict minerals guidance

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Feb 01, 2017

Yesterday, Michael Piwowar, who was recently appointed as acting chairman of the SEC, made public statements related to the Commission’s 2014 guidance on its August 2012 final rule on conflict minerals.

The SEC partially stayed compliance with the conflict minerals rule after an April 2014 appellate court ruling found that the rule violated the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Mr. Piwowar indicated that the “partial stay has done little to stem the tide of unintended consequences washing over the Democratic Republic of the Congo and surrounding areas.” He further noted:

[T]he temporary transition period provided for in the Rule has expired. And the reporting period beginning January 1, 2017, is the first reporting period for which no issuer falls within the terms of that transition period. In light of this, as well as the unexpected duration of the litigation, I am directing the staff to consider whether the 2014 guidance is still appropriate and whether any additional relief is appropriate in the interim.

Mr. Piwowar is requesting feedback “from interested persons on all aspects of the rule and guidance.” A comment letter page has been set up on the SEC’s Web site.

Mr. Piwowar’s statements on the conflict minerals rule and on the reconsideration of the rule’s implementation are available on the SEC’s Web site.

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