SEC Conflict Minerals Rule: Information on Responsible Sourcing and Companies Affected

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Stakeholder-developed initiatives may facilitate companies' compliance with the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) final conflict minerals rule, but other factors may affect the rule's impact on reducing benefits to armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and neighboring countries. Agency and industry officials as well as representatives from international organizations and nongovernmental organizations (NGO) stated that adoption of the rule as well as stakeholder-developed initiatives--which include the development of guidance documents, audit protocols, and in-region sourcing of conflict minerals--can support companies' efforts to ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. July 18, 2013.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Stakeholder-developed initiatives may facilitate companies' compliance with the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) final conflict minerals rule, but other factors may affect the rule's impact on reducing benefits to armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and neighboring countries. Agency and industry officials as well as representatives from international organizations and nongovernmental organizations (NGO) stated that adoption of the rule as well as stakeholder-developed initiatives--which include the development of guidance documents, audit protocols, and in-region sourcing of conflict minerals--can support companies' efforts to conduct due diligence and to identify and responsibly source conflict minerals. For example, officials GAO interviewed explained that the Conflict-Free Smelter Program enables suppliers to source conflict minerals from smelters (companies that refine the ore of the conflict minerals into metals) that have been certified by an independent third-party auditor as obtaining their minerals from sources that did not benefit armed groups. However, officials GAO interviewed cited constraining factors such as lack of security, lack of infrastructure, and lack of capacity in the DRC that could affect the ability to expand on efforts to achieve conflict-free sourcing of minerals from eastern DRC and thereby potentially contribute to armed groups' benefiting from the conflict minerals trade. For example, officials GAO interviewed noted that there is a lack of infrastructure in place that would enable companies to set up or expand operations in the DRC. Limited transportation and poor roads in eastern DRC also make it difficult to get to mine sites. Moreover, according to officials, the remoteness of mines also makes it difficult for DRC officials to validate mines and ensure that the mines have not been compromised by illegal armed groups."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • July 18, 2013

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. SEC Conflict Minerals Rule: Information on Responsible Sourcing and Companies Affected, report, July 18, 2013; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc299687/: accessed December 11, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.