Featured Articles:

EU Mandatory ESG Due Diligence

Alex Cotoia, Regulatory Compliance Manager, at The Volkov Law Group, rejoins us for a posting on ESG due diligence requirements. Alex can be reached at [email protected] On March 10, 2021—by an overwhelming majority—the European Parliament passed a resolution that directs the European Commission to move forward with a formal directive (“Directive”) mandating Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) due diligence by companies throughout their value chains....

Episode 193: Proactive Compliance — Monitoring, Testing and Audits

Compliance programs are rapidly evolving. One of the key drivers of this transformation is the increased reliance on automated compliance functions that generate substantial data. Relying on data analytic strategies, compliance officers are quickly identifying key areas for measurement, monitoring and assessment as an important means to intervene and prevent serious misconduct. In this Episode, Michael Volkov reviews the rapid movement toward proactive compliance and...

The Headline from the SAP Settlement: It’s a New Dawn for Export and Sanctions Compliance (Part IV of IV)

The Department of Justice’s National Security Division, like its counterpart, the Criminal Division, has made a splash on the enforcement and compliance arena. DOJ has elevated the importance and standing of export and sanctions enforcement to make one message clear – DOJ will hold companies accountable for criminal violations of U.S. export and sanctions laws.  And it will do so with the carrot and stick...

SAP’s Comprehensive Export Control and Sanctions Settlement – A New Compliance Frontier for Cloud-Based Services (Part III of IV)

The Justice Department’s National Security Division used the SAP comprehensive settlement of export control and sanctions violations to send a message – a loud and clear one. As the first real flexing of its Business Organizations Corporate Enforcement policy, the Justice Department underscored that companies that voluntarily disclose illegal conduct, fully cooperate, and implement timely and robust remediation will earn a non-prosecution agreement or deferred...

SAP’s Export Control and Sanctions Failures Results in Numerous Violations of Iran Sanctions Program (Part II of IV)

When reviewing factual reports of global corporate failures – be it FCPA, sanctions, export controls, or anti-money laundering schemes and systemic misconduct schemes – the story appears to follow a familiar pattern.  A company starts with inadequate compliance controls, engages in violations driven by the desire to earn money and increase business, learns about the violations through an internal audit, compliance program assessment and/or whistleblower...

SAP Reaches Broad Settlement and Agrees to Pay More Than $8 Million for Violations of Iran Sanctions Program (Part I of IV)

In a precedent-setting agreement, the Justice Department, OFAC and the Bureau of Industry and Security announced a settlement with SAP SE for more than $8 million for numerous violations of the Iran Sanctions program. While the Justice Department’s National Security Division (“NSD”) has settled prior export control and sanctions cases against corporations for violations of the North Korea Sanctions program, the SAP case is the...

Episode 192 — The DOJ-SAP Settlement: A New Compliance Frontier

In a precedent-setting agreement, the Justice Department, OFAC and the Bureau of Industry Security announced a settlement with SAP SE for more than $8 million for numerous violations of the Iran Sanctions program. While the Justice Department’s National Security Division (“NSD”) has settled prior export control and sanctions cases against corporations for violations of the North Korea Sanctions program, the SAP case is the first...

SEC Risk Alert on ESG Investing

I have written extensively about the new and hot business trend – environmental, social and governance programs (“ESG”).  The luster surrounding ESG has been a significant business trend and priority. Like any new trend, the SEC as an important protector of investor interests issued a Risk Alert for investment products and financial services that include ESG factors.  Investors are demanding investment products and financial services...

ESG Automation: Picking the Right Solution

The ESG bandwagon continues to roll – investors, companies and business media are all touting the importance of ESG for corporate success.  Right behind are a number of ESG vendors, who are providing automated platforms to manage ESG criteria, measurement and reporting.  The new gold rush has begun and continues to gain momentum.  Companies interested in ESG have to define their program, the criteria for...

Compliance Understanding of Business Processes

We often hear the adage – “compliance has to understand a company’s business;” “compliance has to work well with the business side.” While I generally agree in principle with these phrases, there is a more important point here.  A compliance professional has to understand a business, the specific business processes, and its operations.  In other words, a compliance officer has to understand step-by-step a business...