Tagged: internal controls

The Compliance Dangers of Cheerleaders and Nay-Sayers

Compliance always boils down to people and interpersonal relationships. No man is an island, and no one can go it alone in compliance. One essential requirement for effective compliance is the ability to engage colleagues and your audience. Many senior executives are smart people –we all understand that. But too often senor executives embrace an interpersonal style of cheerleading. It allows them to appear to...

Compliance Fatigue — A Dangerous Concept

I have a lot of pet peeves, especially when it comes to lawyers and compliance professionals. Do not worry — this is a not a column about all of my pet peeves; I would never bore you with all those issues. My current pet peeve in the compliance field is the expression “compliance fatigue.” I am not a paranoid person but anyone who claims that...

DOJ’s Warning to High-Tech Companies: SAP Official Pleads Guilty To FCPA Violation

When DOJ acts, they like to make a splash. While the FCPA Paparazzi have been lamenting the “slow down” in FCPA enforcement actions and the increase in case closings, DOJ still makes its mark when it acts, and I expect more DOJ actions in the last quarter of 2015. DOJ’s latest salvo was the criminal plea of a former SAP official, a US citizen, for...

SEC Unveils First FCPA Enforcement Action Focused On Hiring Practices: BNY Mellon

The SEC is having a good year in the FCPA enforcement arena. As a former prosecutor, my eyes would sometimes glaze over when discussing civil enforcement actions. The SEC, however, has turned its FCPA enforcement program into a productive and important component of its overall mission. BNY Mellon agreed to pay $14.8 million for the hiring of three interns in order to curry favor with...

The Danger of Compliance Overkill

Government prosecutors spend time promoting enforcement programs and encouraging companies to design and implement effective ethics and compliance programs. The blogosphere is filled with articles, surveys, studies, warnings, and marketing efforts all directed to encourage companies to increase compliance programs and resources. Companies have responded by increasing attention and resources to ethics and compliance programs. In particular, regulated industries are spending vast sums to enhance,...

AML Risks and Compliance for Non-Financial Institutions

Consider yourself lucky if you work at a company that does not fall within the Title 31 of the US Code definition of a “financial institution.” I am being somewhat dramatic but it is important for every company to have an anti-money laundering compliance program. My suggestion is not designed to promote business or even “scare” companies into addressing this issue – it makes sense...

Crossing a New Bridge: Compliance Officers and Financial Controls

Compliance officers face plenty of challenges. The list of close allies always includes the General Counsel, Internal Audit, Human Resources and Procurement officials. In two recent surveys (here and here), CCOs reported that they do not have a strong working relationship with the CFO and typically do not get involved in the design and implementation of financial controls. That is a real significant problem. Lets start...

Encouraging Employees to Break the “Rules” to Do the Right Thing

Lauren Connell of The Volkov Law Group joins us again for a posting about corruption and gifts and hospitality.  Her profile is here and she can be reached at lconnell@volkovlaw.com. Laws and regulations draw black lines in often-gray areas. That is their purpose; they exist to make it easier to tell what is “wrong” and what is “right” (as defined by whoever made the law)....

Gifts, Meals and Prosecution: BHP Billiton’s Settlement

The SEC is on a mission – companies that engage in egregious payment schemes for gifts, hospitality and travel are going to get prosecuted for civil FCPA violations. Recent SEC enforcement actions against companies continue, and BHP Billiton’s settlement last week is another example of the SEC’s prosecution strategy. BHP Billiton agreed to pay a $25 million penalty to settle SEC charges for internal controls...