Course Description:

This highly interactive two day seminar on SEC compliance will:

  • review the current status of the conflict minerals disclosure requirements and new SEC guidance/interpretations
  • discuss impact on privately-held companies not subject to SEC jurisdiction
SEC Conflict Minerals Disclosure Rule

Less than six months are left in 2014 to understand and respond to the changing landscape. Are you prepared to respond to SEC and your customers?

  • present a general overview of the 2013 filings based on a review of 100% of the filings conducted in conjunction with Georgetown Law School
  • explore approaches to applicability scoping, key definitions and filing triggers
  • discuss data quality concerns/limitations, implications and opportunities for improvement
  • clarify the delineation between Reasonable Country of Origin Inquiry (RCOI) and due diligence
  • examine Independent Private Sector Audit (IPSA) triggers, auditor guidance and reports
  • present Conflict Minerals Report (CMR) strategies to minimize the IPSA cost and effort

The highlight of the session is a real time opportunity to informally benchmark your company’s SEC filings against companies of your choosing based on the data gathered by Elm Sustainability Partners and Georgetown Law School.

Additionally, we recognize that some attendees may be new to the topic and desire a review of the basics. A basics session will be held on the first day that covers the background and fundamental requirements, scope, definitions and terms. This short introduction will help those new to the program as well as offer a refresher for others.

Learning Objectives:

This course is intended to be pragmatic. The learning objectives will help issuers and suppliers alike to develop strategies for calendar year 2014 and beyond that meet their own circumstances, and gain deeper understanding of supplier limitations and customer needs/use of conflict minerals information.

Upon completing this course participants will:

  • Understand the SEC disclosure requirements based on new information and the 2013 filings
  • Apprehend key definitions and applicability
  • Be able to clearly delineate between RCOI and due diligence
  • Identify weaknesses in supplier data and ways to improve its reliability and credibility
  • Understand various CMR approaches and implications
  • Identify cost savings opportunities related to the IPSA
  • Recognize where they stand in relation to peer companies based on 2013 filings

Who Will Benefit:

This course is designed for people who have any level of involvement in their company’s conflict minerals team. Typically, the internal teams are cross-functional so this course will benefit a wide range of individuals that have responsibilities related to conflict minerals, such as:

  • Senior management responsible for signing SEC filings
  • Legal counsel
  • Procurement professionals
  • Supply chain managers
  • Regulatory professionals
  • Trade, import/export and customs professionals
  • Compliance professionals
  • Production managers
  • Environmental, health and safety professionals
  • Internal audit staff
  • Manufacturing engineers
  • Research, development and design engineers
  • Process owners

Topic Background:

The first deadline for filing the inaugural US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) conflict minerals disclosures has passed and there is a great deal of variance in companies’ approaches to the Reasonable Country of Origin Inquiry (RCOI), due diligence activities and conflict minerals reports (CMRs). With that now in the rear view mirror, issuers (and their suppliers) can begin working towards increased consistency and reliability of content, format and expectations of the next filing covering calendar year 2014. However, there is more to be learned and done as uncertainty surrounds the “DRC Conflict Undeterminable” classification after calendar year 2014. Conflict minerals programs and strategies will evolve rapidly guided by the first year learnings and new goals and requirements.

Course Outline:

Day One (8:30 AM – 4:30 PM) Day Two (8:30 AM – 4:30 PM)

Registration Process: 8:30 AM – 9:00 AM

Basics Session: 9:00 AM - 10:00AM

  1. Review of key basics
    1. Definitions
    2. Scope
    3. Triggers
    4. General process and information flow
    5. Filings
    6. Privately held companies
  2. Questions

Full Session Start Time: 10:00AM

  1. Review of current status of the requirements
  2. Updates to SEC guidance and interpretations
    1. April 7, 2014 FAQs
    2. Determination classifications
    3. Non-metallic forms of 3TG
    4. Others
    5. Impact on 2014 filings
  3. Applicability and scoping assessments
    1. Non-metallic forms of 3TG
    2. Necessary for functionality or production
    3. Products
    4. Supplier/material screening
    5. Contract to manufacture and influence on design/manufacture
    6. Private companies – customer mandates
  4. Reasonable Country of Origin Inquiry (RCOI)
    1. “Reason to believe conflict minerals may have originated in covered countries”
    2. Supplier outreach process
      1. Data management - IT systems or in-house
      2. Staffing needs
    3. Parts-level versus company-level disclosures from suppliers
    4. Data quality, credibility and reliance
      1. Supplier response rates
      2. Completeness and acceptance criteria
    5. Using Conflict Free Sourcing Initiative (CFSI) tools
      1. CMR template
      2. Conflict Free Smelter (CFS) program
    6. Relationship to OECD Due Diligence Guidance
    7. Due diligence trigger
  5. Due diligence
    1. Delineation from RCOI
    2. Activities
    3. Relationship to Conflict Free Sourcing Initiative (CFSI) tools
    4. Relationship to OECD Due Diligence Guidance
  6. Product determinations/classifications
  7. Review of 2013 SEC filings
    1. RCOI versus due diligence
    2. CMR content
    3. Determinations
    4. IPSAs
    5. Notable filings

  1. EU directive status
  2. Impact of section 1502 in the region
  3. Assessing stakeholders
    1. Investors
    2. NGOs
    3. Customers
    4. Public
  4. Strategies for 2014
    1. Applicability determinations
    2. Product and supplier screening
    3. Customer mandates
    4. Supplier outreach
    5. Data management
    6. Completion and acceptance criteria
    7. Parts-level or company-level disclosures
    8. Verification of data
    9. Defining RCOI
    10. Defining due diligence
    11. Reporting
      1. Form SD
      2. CMR
      3. Customer mandates
    12. Product determination disclosure
    13. Approaches for minimizing IPSA costs
  5. Interactive SEC filing benchmarking session
  6. Questions

Meet Your Instructor

Lawrence Heim
Director - EHS/Environmental Risk, Conflict Minerals and Sustainability

Lawrence Heim is a director in the Atlanta office of Elm Sustainability Partners, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Elm Consulting Group International LLC, an independent environmental, health, safety and sustainability (EHSS) consulting practice. The focus of his 29 years’ experience has been the design, implementation and oversight of a wide range of EHSS audit, risk assessment and related management system programs. He is the firm’s lead on conflict minerals and conducted third party conflict minerals traceability audits for tantalum smelters in 2010, resulting in two of the first conflict-free smelter designations granted by the Conflict Free Smelter (CFS) program.

Currently he is working with a range of industries on conflict mineral programs and auditing for clients that include Fortune 50 and 350 companies. Mr. Heim was the only EHSS consultant selected by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a panelist at their 2011 Conflict Minerals Roundtable. He was selected by The Auditing Roundtable to lead the development of auditor guidance for use in applying GAO performance audit standards to independent private sector audits of Conflict Minerals Reports. He is a frequent contributor to the media and has made numerous presentations on the subject for organizations including the American Bar Association, BNA Bloomberg, the Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals, EICC/the Conflict Free Sourcing Initiative and Thomson Reuters among others.

Mr. Heim is a certified professional environmental auditor and a former board member of The Auditing Roundtable.

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Local Attractions

One of the more breathtaking scenes on the lake is this tall ship approaching the docks at Navy Pier. The 148-foot four-masted schooner (and its new sister ship, the Windy II ) sets sail for 90-minute cruises two to five times a day, both day and evening. (Because the boats are sometimes booked by groups, the schedule changes each week; call first to confirm sailing times). The boats are at the whims of the wind, so every cruise charts a different course. Passengers are welcome to help raise and trim the sails and occasionally take turns at the ship's helm (with the captain standing close by). The boats are not accessible for people with disabilities.

The building may be historic (it was the first planetarium in the Western Hemisphere), but some of the attractions here will captivate the most jaded video-game addict.

Your first stop should be the modern Sky Pavilion, where the don't-miss experience is the StarRider Theater. Settle down under the massive dome, and you'll take a half-hour interactive virtual-reality trip through the Milky Way and into deep space, featuring a computer-generated 3-D-graphics projection system and controls in the armrest of each seat. Six high-resolution video projectors form a seamless image above your head -- you'll feel as if you're literally floating in space. If you're looking for more entertainment, the Sky Theater shows movies with an astronomical bent; recent shows have included Secrets of Saturn and Mars Now!

With its gleaming-white, palatial, six-story grandstand and lush gardens, this racecourse is one of the most beautiful showcases for thoroughbred horse racing in the world. Its storied history stretches back to 1927, and such equine stars as Citation, Secretariat, and Cigar have graced the track. The annual Arlington Million (the sport's first million-dollar race, held in mid-Aug) attracts top jockeys, trainers, and horses and is part of the World Series Racing Championship, which includes the Breeders Cup races. Arlington's race days are thrilling to behold, with all of racing's time-honored pageantry on display -- from the bugler in traditional dress to the parade of jockeys.

You can't -- and shouldn't -- miss the Art Institute. (You really have no excuse, since it's conveniently located right on Michigan Ave. in the heart of downtown.) No matter what medium or century interests you, the Art Institute has something in its collection to fit the bill. Japanese ukiyo-e prints, ancient Egyptian bronzes, Greek vases, 19th-century British photography, masterpieces by most of the greatest names in 20th-century sculpture, and modern American textiles are just some of the works on display, but for a general overview of the museum's collection, take the free "Highlights of the Art Institute" tour Saturday and Sunday.

A truly grand theater with historic-landmark status, the Auditorium gives visitors a taste of late-19th-century Chicago opulence. Because it's still a working theater -- not a museum -- it's not always open to the public during the day; to make sure you'll get in, schedule a guided tour, which are offered on Mondays at 10am and noon.

Designed and built in 1889 by Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler, the 4,000-seat Auditorium was a wonder of the world: the heaviest (110,000 tons) and most massive modern edifice on earth, the most fireproof building ever constructed, and the tallest building in Chicago. It was also the first large-scale building to be lit by electricity, and its theater was the first in the country to install air-conditioning. Originally the home of the Chicago Opera Company, Sullivan and Adler's masterpiece is defined by powerful arches lit by thousands of bulbs and features Sullivan's trademark ornamentation -- in this case, elaborate golden stenciling and gold plaster medallions. It's equally renowned for otherworldly acoustics and unobstructed sightlines.

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