Four groups representing public pension funds and state financial officials asked the SEC to lead efforts to identify companies engaged in prohibited activities in Sudan and other countries designated by the U.S. government as sponsors of terrorism.
SEC should consider having companies filing with it certify, subject to some penalty, that they do not engage in such business operations in Sudan, according to a letter sent Tuesday to the SEC by the National Association of State Retirement Administrators; National Council on Teacher Retirement; National Association of State Auditors, Controllers and Treasurers; and the National Conference of State Legislatures. Currently the lack of such information has been and will continue to be a significant problem for concerned investors, which will only be exacerbated as divestment efforts are expanded to include other state sponsors of terrorism, such as Iran. the letter said
Although non-governmental organizations and for-profit firms produce lists for divestment purposes, we believe that such a judgment should not be effectively delegated to NGOs or other vendors of information whose interests in the matter are motivated more by profit than the foreign policy concerns of the United States, the letter said.
The group sent the letter in response to the SECs request for comments about whether to require greater disclosures by companies concerning their business activities in countries designated as sponsors of terrorism.