Tagged: Ethics and Compliance

Third Party Risk Management Not Just Due Diligence

The term “due diligence” is an overused expression in the compliance world. It has become a term to mean heightened concern or investigation. No one can really define what it means except to say it has different meanings in different contexts. Some would say it is a term of art in the legal and compliance world. It is misleading to add the term “investigation” to...

Headlines from Mid-Year FCPA Enforcement Review

Just to add my voice to the cottage industry surrounding FCPA enforcement and compliance, I wanted to take a deep breath and offer some observations on FCPA enforcement in 2016. There are a few significant headlines for the year so far, and I suspect more to come as we get close to the end of the year when FCPA enforcement usually picks up a little...

Defining the Compliance Mission – More Than Just Preventing Violations

I am not one to beg but I have decided I have nothing to lose here – please, when it comes to compliance, everyone has to adopt a new mantra. The purpose of compliance is not to prevent legal and code of conduct violations. Such a purpose is way too limited in scope and almost guarantees failure, because at one time or another, company employees...

A Rush to Compliance: Patience is a Virtue

Compliance officers are, by definition, goal driven. They are high achievers and expect to succeed. So what. You may say – we all know that. Compliance officers are not the most patient group of people. They want to see change, improvement and action. Patience is not in their blood, nor is it their middle name(s). Unless a CCO is directed by the board or the...

Do Former Prosecutors Make Good CCOs?

A number of companies have adopted the requirement that a new Chief Compliance Office come from the ranks of former federal prosecutors. I am not sure exactly why companies have adopted this requirement. Perhaps company leaders think this will give the company an advantage when dealing with the Justice Department or the SEC. With full disclosure here, I admit my bias in favor of federal...

FinCEN Issues New Beneficial Ownership Regulations

Under the dark cover of the Panama Papers scandal, FinCEN moved quickly to issue its beneficial; ownership regulations. For all of the US regulatory and financial industry bluster, it is about time. The United States stands far behind other countries in requiring transparency with regard to financial ownership. It is unfortunate that it took the Panama Papers scandal to give FinCEN the political opportunity to...

Global Construction and Corruption

With increasing focus on infrastructure projects and greater public demand for improvements, governments are preparing to ramp up construction projects. Part of the budgeting process has to acknowledge the cost of corruption. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that construction and corruption go hand-in-hand. Corruption occurs in construction projects because of the incendiary mix of money, government bureaucracy, and lack of...

Teaching the Board How to Oversee and Monitor the Compliance Function

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education – Mark Twain (unverified). Everything has its limit–iron ore cannot be educated into gold. – Mark Twain (verified) Board members believe they know what they need to know. That is why they were asked to serve on the board. Unfortunately, like many issues today, confidence does not mean competency. Corporate boards are increasing their focus...

CCOs: Living in the Land of False Promises

We all have heard the scenario involving a compliance professional. A new CCO joins a company with promises from the board, the CEO and senior executives of cooperation, compensation and support for a robust independent compliance function. The new CCO arrives with an idealistic spirit only to discover that he or she has been misled. Sure, the CCO has a title, and a nice salary,...

Las Vegas Sands $9 Million SEC Settlement: An Easy Mark

The SEC continues its cutting edge FCPA enforcement program, bringing in a variety of enforcement cases and employing some new strategies. In its latest foray, the SEC settled with Las Vegas Sands, owned by Sheldon Adelson, for $9 million for deficiencies in its internal accounting controls concerning its operations in China and Macao. The SEC’s enforcement action reflects one important theme – they could not...