I was all set to think about a creative topic to write about this week. I got an email today from our quality department. One of our customers, who is a public company with a rather large compliance department, is requiring us to participate in a conference call regarding “conflict mineral” usage.
Here is an excerpt from our customer’s email:
“The purpose of this call is to discuss the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform & Consumer Protection Act of 2010, and what this means to our industry. As a publicly traded company Standard Register is required to report the existence of “Conflict Minerals” in the products it provides. If you would like to pre-read on the topic please visit www.sec.gov/news/press/2012/2012-163.htm. Please plan on attending this call. Concluding the call a survey will be sent that will capture your response in regards to ‘conflict mineral’ usage. Your response to this survey is extremely important so please be sure to complete promptly.”
Straight from the SEC Website:
The Securities and Exchange Commission today adopted a rule mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to require companies to publicly disclose their use of conflict minerals that originated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) or an adjoining country.
So, as a result of “Wall Street reform”, I need to have someone fill out a survey about our usage of “conflict minerals” that originate in the Democratic Republic of Congo or adjoining countries. How the two are connected is beyond me. I’m sure the banking industry will be much more consumer friendly as a result of companies disclosing their use of conflict minerals. This rule will surely help prevent another financial crisis.
This legislation is yet another example of the government quietly killing small businesses. The costs of compliance with meaningless regulations are getting out of hand. As I wrote after the election, I voted against every national incumbent on my ballot in 2012. I will do the same in 2014 and 2016.