On July 2, 2013, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia vacated the SEC’s resource extraction rules which were mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act.  Since that time, industry players have asked the SEC to push forward so that conforming rules can be adopted in the European Union.  But nothing has happened.

Oxfam America has now brought a suit against the SEC in federal court in Massachusetts seeking a court order to require the SEC to adopt the rules.  Oxfam cites the following as grounds for relief:

  • The Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. § 706(1)) provides a remedy to “compel agency action unlawfully withheld or unreasonably delayed.”
  • The federal mandamus statute (28 U.S.C. § 1361) gives a federal district court jurisdiction to compel an agency of the United States to perform a nondiscretionary duty owed to a plaintiff as a matter of law.

Among other things, Oxfam claims it is directly injured (read as “we have standing”) because the information disclosed pursuant to Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act would be of direct value to Oxfam America, both as a shareholder and as an organization with a mission to advance accountability in the management of extractive resource revenues around the world.

Oxfam America is an international relief and development organization.