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Oxfam Claims SEC Not Moving Fast Enough on Payment Disclosure Rule

Accused of not acting quickly on a disclosure rule for oil and mining companies that make payments to governments as part of their business practices, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) is being sued by Oxfam America Inc. Per its complaint filed last week, the international aid group says the agency should have issued a rule over three years ago and are violating the will of Congress, which called for the disclosure provision through the Dodd-Frank Act. Oxfam also stated that it is a shareholder in some of the companies that would be impacted by the SEC’s rule. In 2012,. Read More.

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CAQ Study Shows Big Drop in Financial Restatements

Evaluating financial restatement trends over the ten-year period after the Sarbanes-Oxley Act’s (SOX) implementation, the Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) recently released the findings of its study, Financial Restatement Trends in the United States: 2003–2012. Authored by University of Kansas Professor Susan Scholz, the report focuses on restatement activity that was disclosed by U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission-registered filers. Per Scholz’s analysis and findings, it was determined that financial restatements have dramatically decreased over the years. Major takeaways from the report include the following: Contributed to the implementation of SOX Section 404 internal control reporting, restatement announcements reached its peak. Read More.

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House Members Want Update to 1982 Mining Industry Guidance

Signed by thirteen members of the House of Representatives, a July 7th letter sent to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) requested that the agency update a 32-year-old portion of its interpretative guidance for mining companies. In the House members’ view, the guidance in Industry Guide No. 7, Description of property by issuers engaged or to be engaged in significant mining operations, does not fall in line with modern industry practices and puts U.S. mining companies at a disadvantage. By updating the guidance, lawmakers hope U.S. companies can become more competitive globally against foreign companies and offer better clarity. Read More.

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Release No. 34-67717 Update Coming Next Year

Planned for a spring 2015 release, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) will propose modifying Release No. 34-67717, Disclosure of Payments by Resource Extraction Issuers. The original rule, which was rejected last year by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (“the Court”), requires the disclosure of payments oil, gas and mining companies make to governments. Opting not to file an appeal, the SEC is addressing the Court’s complaints over the rule. Among the complaints is the requirement of companies to file reports to the SEC specifying payments of $100,000 or more, which the Court considered “a. Read More.

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