The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday said it plans to rewrite regulations that would force oil and mining companies to disclose payments to foreign governments.
A court struck down a version of the regulations in July, and an SEC spokesman said the agency does not intend to appeal the ruling.
“The court remanded the matter for further SEC proceedings, which the Commission will undertake informed by the court’s decision,” SEC spokesman John Nester said.
The move by a federal judge to vacate the 2012 disclosure regulation handed a victory to industry groups that alleged the rule would impose costly burdens and force companies to disclose sensitive information.
The decision is a setback for human rights groups, like Oxfam America, that cheered the SEC for refusing to include an array of exemptions sought by industry in the original regulations.
U.S. District Court Judge John D. Bates ruled in July that the SEC had failed to justify its decision to require that companies’ full filings to the commission, rather than just summaries of them, be made public.
The judge also said the SEC had failed to justify its decision to reject industry pleas that the rule should include waivers for operations in countries that bar payment disclosure.
The disclosure rule was mandated by the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial law.
The SEC decision not to appeal will revive an intense administrative lobbying battle to influence the regulation’s contents.
“U.S. companies are leading the way to increase transparency, and we look forward to working with the SEC to rewrite the rule in a way that recognizes these existing efforts and doesn’t harm competitiveness,” said Carlton Carroll, a spokesman for the American Petroleum Institute, which alongside the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other groups, sued to overturn the rule.
Oxfam America, which had intervened in the lawsuit in defens