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Education Group Encouraging General Education Reform

Featuring college case studies and key findings from over 300 U.S. and Canada institutions surveyed, the education-based organization Academic Impressions published its report, General Education Reform: Unseen Opportunities, in October. Though research discovered 80 percent of the surveyed institutions have completed or are currently reforming their curriculum, the report discusses how most programs offer too many choices for students, and do not state clear goals or reflect the institution’s mission. As a result, the report offers steps institutions can take to manage costs, close the “skills gap”, and improve curriculum offered to students. For the full report, click here .

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Initiative on Rethinking Financial Disclosure Announced

In response to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Chair Mary Jo White’s plea for simplifying Form 10-K disclosure requirements, the Institute for Corporate Responsibility (“ICR”) at the George Washington University School of Business and the Center for Audit Quality (“CAQ”) have created the Initiative on Rethinking Financial Disclosure (“the Initiative”). With teams of graduate students from George Washington’s School of Business, the project will feature research of issues related to effective corporate disclosure. Each team will examine Form 10-K reports from Fortune 500 companies, and recommend how to decrease insignificant or unneeded reporting requirements without losing the information’s. Read More.

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Conflict Minerals’ Emergency Appeal Denied

Despite an attempt to file an emergency motion for a stay of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) entire Conflict Minerals rule, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“the Court”) has rejected the request. While the Court previously ruled the Conflict Minerals’ final rule was a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, the SEC later issued a partial stay that mandates companies to use language disclosing whether any of their products are “DRC conflict free”. The SEC also released guidance to continue implementing the provision requiring businesses to file their conflict mineral reports. Read More.

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GASB Proposes Exposure Draft on Fair Value

To address fair value measurement accounting and financial reporting matters, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (“GASB”) has issued an exposure draft for public comment. Entitled Fair Value Measurement and Application, the exposure draft explains how fair value is to be defined, assets and liabilities to be determined, and what information regarding fair value should be mentioned in financial statements. The GASB’s goal is to define fair value as the price that would be accepted to sell an asset or paid to shift a liability in a transaction between market participants at the date of measurement. Comments regarding Fair Value Measurement. Read More.

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House Republicans Lead Contempt Charge Against Lerner

With a 231-187 vote, the U.S. House of Representatives held former Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress. Backed mostly by Republican officials, the contempt charge was due to Lerner exercising the Fifth Amendment to prevent self-incrimination during the investigation over the IRS’ targeting of conservative-based groups. Republicans, however, believe Lerner waived her right once she claimed innocence while appearing in front of the House Oversight Committee last year. Before the vote took place, Rep. Richard Nugent (R-FL) stated, “Mrs. Lerner made 17 separate factual assertions before invoking her right to remain silent. You can’t make. Read More.

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The Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing

In this era of sequestration, some government contracting offices are engaging in practices regarding contractors that the contractors believe are unfair or inconsistent with the terms of their contracts. Contractors need to know what the rules are in regard to the government’s duty to treat them fairly, and what recourse contractors have if the government does not meet that duty. However, keep in mind that the following discussion is not intended to and does not constitute legal advice. Instead, this is intended to provide you with general knowledge concerning the rules of federal contracting. The government’s obligation to treat contractors. Read More.

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