By Mark Taylor
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) held consultations with industry and civil society last week on the conflict minerals provision (Section 1502) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. At a public roundtable hosted by the Commission in Washington DC SEC lawyers heard agreement (mostly) that conflict minerals due diligence should be implemented, but disagreement on how quickly it could be done and how thoroughly it should be done.
If the SEC is wise, they will create clear and simple rules with which companies must comply immediately (which in SEC terms would probably mean in 2012). Evidence of good faith due diligence by companies not in compliance with all regulations at that time should be considered as a mitigating factor when considering penalties.
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