Category: General

Integrating ESG into Your Business

It is easy to get lost in ESG.  Focus is the key.  Leadership has to define the ESG strategy.  A designated officer has to lead implementation.   The ESG bucket can carry a variety of causes, issues and priorities.  Leadership has to sift through these individual items and commit to action.  The ESG program now has to be implemented. A first step is to identify opportunities...

Meeting the ESG Challenge

Perhaps I am little bit behind.  That would be nothing new – but we are getting to the point where we no longer need to spell out ESG.  Everyone knows what it means – directors, officers, employees, investors, shareholders and other stakeholders can spell it out.  ESG is firmly implanted in the corporate governance landscape.  Prosecutors and regulatory agencies are quickly adding ESG to their...

In-House Counsel and Risk Management

A good lawyer knows the law; a clever one takes the judge to lunch. — Mark Twain Lawyers get a bad rap – not just as the subject of lawyer jokes.  (This is not an invitation to recite lawyer jokes).  I recently wrote about the unique skills that compliance professionals possess in risk management.  CCOs are “comfortable” assessing risk, prioritizing risks and then mitigating risks...

Nordgas Settles with OFAC As Part of UniControls Violations of Iran Sanctions Program

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC)continues to pile up sanctions enforcement actions.  As the Biden Administration slowly takes over the reins of the Department of Treasury, OFAC enforcement is likely to increase.  Companies should expect more and complex sanctions, including anticipated strict sanctions against Russia for election interference.  OFAC’s mission and enforcement profile will increase.  At the same time, individual liability is...

Danger! Danger!: Retaliation Against Employees is Increasing (Part II of II)

The FCPA Guidance issued by the Justice Department and the SEC says it best – “The truest measure of an effective compliance program is how it responds to misconduct.”  These are prophetic words.  Many organizations, however, cannot pass this basic test.  Indeed, if we look at the Ethics and Compliance Initiative’s 2021 Global Business Ethics Survey (GBES), the conclusion is inescapable: organizations’ ethical cultures are...

ECI’s Global Business Ethics Survey: The Plusses and Minuses (Part I of II)

The Ethics and Compliance Initiative is a terrific organization that provides important ethics and compliance insights and leadership.  Starting in 1994, ECI has conducted a longitudinal, cross-section study of workplace conduct.  ECI recently issued its sixteenth GBES results, which provide important benchmarks on the state of ethics and compliance programs in business.  ECI focuses on the connection between an organization’s ethical culture and workplace behaviors. ...

The Demand for Sustainability and Risk Management

The COVID-19 pandemic uncovered the fragility of business operations – within the space of weeks, companies were forced to adjust to distribution channel and supply chain disruptions, workplace closings, and a virtual standstill in global trade.  The global economy came to a screeching halt.  While the economy is slowly recovering and poised for increased activity, consumers and investors have discovered the importance of organizational sustainability. ...

Building the Bridge(s) Between Compliance and Business

The success of a compliance program depends on a number of factors.  Perhaps one of the most important factors is the strength of the relationship between compliance professionals and business.  Compliance depends on business employees to share information, coordinate in compliance procedures, and ensuring overall compliance. As one business manager candidly told me during a risk assessment interview, “if business does not take responsibility for...

UniControl Agrees to Pay $216,464 to Settle Case for Violations of OFAC’s Iran Sanctions Program

UniControl, Inc., a Cleveland, Ohio manufacturer of process controls, airflow pressure switches, boiler controls and other instruments, agreed to pay OFAC $216,464 to settle its liabilities for violation of the Iran Sanctions Program.  UniControl exported 19 shipments of its goods to two European countries with reason to know that the goods were intended for delivery to Iran end users.  In addition, UniControl exported two shipments...

CCOs and Expertise in Risk Management

Chief compliance officers (CCOs) are talented professionals.  As Donna Boehme always emphasizes, CCOs are subject matter experts (SMEs) in compliance risks, controls and mitigation.  CCOs focus on legal and compliance risks as reflected in an organization’s Code of Conduct, ethical culture and legal requirements.  In recognition of their unique role in every organization, CCOs have line of sight across the organization, independence and authority to...