The US Securities and Exchange Commission reportedly has extended its deadline until October 2015 for proposing new requirements for publicly traded US oil and gas and mining companies to report payments to foreign governments under Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank financial reporting reform law.
An SEC spokesman told OGJ that the federal agency would not comment on the matter because it involves a rulemaking process that is still under way. But the reports said the deadline has been extended beyond March as part of a new unified agenda the SEC submitted to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget. OMB requires unified agendas periodically for most federal agencies.
SEC originally implemented Dodd-Frank 1504 when it issued requirements for publicly traded extraction industries to report payments of $100,000 or more to foreign governments during a fiscal year on Aug. 22, 2012. US Judge John Bates of federal district court for the District of Columbia vacated the requirement on July 2, 2013, and remanded the matter to the SEC for further action.
The agency subsequently said it would not appeal the decision, but try to rework the disclosure requirements instead (OGJ Online, Sept. 4, 2013). The effort got under way this summer.
Oxfam America, one of several nongovernment organizations pressing the US to adopt more stringent requirements for domestic companies operating overseas, condemned the delay on Nov. 24. “The SEC remains bound by the statutory deadline to produce a rule 270 days after the enactment of the Dodd Frank Act,” said Isabel Munilla, the group’s senior policy advisor for extractive industries. “It has now been out of compliance with that deadline for a total of 3 years.”
Stephen Comstock, the American Petroleum Institute’s tax and accounting policy director, was not immediately available to comment. API submitted a letter to the SEC a year ago suggesting ways the agency could rewrite its foreign payments disclosure rule so it will support transparency without harming US companies’ ability to compete overseas or undermining US job growth (OGJ Online, Nov. 8, 2013).
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