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Inside Internal Controls

News and discussion on implementing risk management

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Blockchain and privacy: Transparency and innovation pose challenges for data protection

A blockchain is a peer network of nodes that use a distributed ledger that can be used to track transactions involving value including money, votes, property, etc. The most well-known application of blockchain technology is bitcoin. Transactions on a blockchain are not regulated by any central counterparty: the individuals involved in a given transaction provide their information (including personal information), a record is created that can be verified by nodes in the network. In this sense, the users forming the community act as their own regulators.

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Why do so many practitioners misunderstand risk?

My apologies in advance to all those who talk about third–party risk, IT risk, cyber risk, and so on. We don’t, or shouldn’t, address risk for its own sake. That’s what we are doing when we talk about these risk silos. We should address risk because of its potential effect on the achievement of enterprise objectives.

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Political activities: Consultations may have side effects

As our readers know, the new government has taken steps to revamp the restrictions on political activities by charities, by dismantling the political activities audit program and by promising a new approach following consultation with the public and members of the charities industry. It is important, however, to note that the changes may not only effect the charity realm as Nova Scotia Community Interest Corporations have similar restrictions.

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New record-keeping requirements for Ontario corporations

While the new record-keeping requirements are relatively straightforward for corporations with just a few “ownership interests” in real property, corporations with significant interests, such as those involved in property development, face a much more onerous task. It is therefore recommended that Ontario corporations begin preparing the register as soon as possible to gather the required information and to establish a common practice.

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Copyright year in review 2016

This article highlights noteworthy Canadian copyright law decisions and developments from 2016.

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Selecting software to help manage user access risk

I believe software is essential in managing user access risk, not only for SOX but also for other business risks. In fact, the potential harm from inappropriate access is typically greater for other business risk (such as the possibility of disruption of activities such as revenue generation or manufacturing, reputation risk, and the protection of valuable intellectual property) than it is for SOX.

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Trump at work, week one

The first week of Trump’s administration has revealed a highly activist White House, hewing with surprising fidelity to campaign promises. The pace of change is materially faster than anticipated and the implications may be felt sooner rather than later.

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CRA’s Report on the Charities Program 2015-16

In January 2017, the CRA released its Report on the Charities Program 2015–2016, which provides interesting insights into Canada’s charitable sector. A common thread weaving through issues related to obtaining and maintaining charitable status is the need to create, maintain, and report/file information required by the Charities Directorate and the Income Tax Act.

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Views on the future of risk management

James Lam has an impressive resume: Chief Risk Officer for major financial institutions, author of a respected book on ERM, consultant, and board member. Recently, he wrote a white paper that is available through RIMS or Workiva, Next Frontier: Performance-Based Continuous ERM. I think it is fair to say that James and I agree on many points but disagree on others.

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Cannabis legislation and regulation

The Liberal Party of Canada made the legalization of marijuana a priority during the 2015 federal election campaign and now the Liberal government has taken a step toward enacting that promise. On June 30, 2016, the Government of Canada launched a Task Force to advise it on the design of a legislative and regulatory framework for legal access to cannabis. The prescribed framework was the Government’s commitment in the 2015 Speech From the Throne to legalize, regulate, and restrict access to cannabis.

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Update: Travel to the United States

As per the executive order issued by the President of the United States on Friday, January 27, 2017, a 90–day visa suspension is in place for all travel to the United States (except for those holding diplomatic status) by nationals of the following countries: Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen.

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Anti-money laundering update: Politically exposed persons

On December 20, 2016, the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada released new guidelines in respect of politically exposed persons and heads of international organizations. A separate guideline was released for each of financial entities, securities dealers, life insurance companies, agents and brokers and money services businesses. The Guidelines will be effective June 17, 2017.

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Tax voluntary disclosures for Canadian residents

As anticipated, the Canada Revenue Agency has been put on notice to restrict its Voluntary Disclosures Program.

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Adequacy of Canadian privacy law

Potential amendments could mean Canadian businesses receiving personal information from Europe will have more exposure to the differences in the data protection laws and enforcement regimes in the EU member states.

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