March 7, 2014 - March 14, 2014

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.

NAEM’s Five Tips for Preparing a Conflict Minerals Filing

The National Association for Environmental Management (NAEM) spoke with Kirsten Wallerstedt, a Senior Regulatory Analyst with 3E, regarding a company’s first conflict minerals filing. Ms. Wallerstedt provided these five (5) helpful tips when filing a Form SD and Conflict Minerals Report (if any):

  1. Understand the impact of your filing.
  2. Circulate the form early.
  3. Explain your findings, no matter what they are.
  4. Look for language that reflects the SEC requirements.
  5. Show the efforts you’ve made and how you plan to improve.

For more discussion surrounding her tips, see NAEM’s blog post titled Five Tips for Preparing Your Conflict Minerals Filing.

Intel Offers to “Open Source” Conflict Minerals Program, Hopes to Assist Other Companies in Compliance Efforts

According to the Thomson Reuters Foundation, Intel’s CEO, Brian Krzanich, recently announced that Intel will “‘open source’ its methods for verifying that none of its products contain minerals from armed groups involved in the DRC conflict.” Open source is a tool that allows any company to have access to Intel’s compliance methods as well as permission to make modifications or improvements to the methods and redistribute the modified or improved methods as it sees fit. Mr. Krzanich stated, “For us, this has always been about doing the right thing.”

North Carolina Could Become Conflict-Free In Near Future

According to an Enough Project blog post, a group of University of North Carolina students are advocating that the university, and in turn the state, amend its electronics procurement policy to favor companies who have made progress toward conflict-free sourcing.

Late last year, the university student government adopted a resolution in support of a conflict-free campus, but encountered an obstacle when it later was informed that since UNC is a public university, its procurement policy is set by the state legislature. The UNC students spearheading the process have been in contact with various state legislators and ”are optimistic about future collaborative efforts in concert with the upcoming North Carolina General Assembly session this May.”

Management Could Field Questions About Conflict Minerals at their Annual Meetings this Year

According to an Accounting Today article written by Michael Cohn, titled Annual Shareholder Meetings May Include Auditor Tenure and COSO Questions, management should prepare to field questions about conflict minerals, among other things, at their annual meetings this spring. Mr. Cohn states, “Shareholders may want to know if the company is conducting country-of-origin inquiries to ensure that their supply chains are conflict free.”