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Inside Internal Controls

News and discussion on implementing risk management

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2013

Public holiday reminders, season’s greetings and holiday break

The team at First Reference Inc. and Inside Internal Controls blog wishes everyone a very Happy Holiday Season and all the best for the New Year! / L’Équipe de La Référence et du billet Inside Internal Controls blog vous souhaite de belles fêtes et une bonne et heureuse année. In addition, we would like to remind you of the three public/statutory holidays…

 

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Upgrading your sales team’s business acumen

There’s a growing feeling among sales organizations that their team members need to upgrade their skills and processes to better meet Business to Business (B2B) buyer expectations.

 

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Proposed Saskatchewan law would regulate lobbyists

A new Bill currently before Saskatchewan’s legislature would regulate lobbying in the province. Bill 120, the Lobbyists Act, would require persons who are paid to lobby elected officials to register their lobbying activities with a proposed government registry. The Bill contains numerous exemptions, which some critics say weaken the proposed law, but it will add a valuable layer of transparency to government, and may be strengthened in the future.

 

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Industry Canada announces effective dates of anti-spam legislation

After three years of waiting, Industry Canada has finalized the Electronic Commerce Protection Regulations and set a date for Canada’s anti-spam legislation to come into force. Canada’s anti-spam legislation will be phased in over four years starting July 1, 2014—seven short months from now.

 

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Tick Tock: It’s time to continue under the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act

According to data obtained from Corporations Canada, as of September 1st, only 1,663 out of approximately 25,000 corporations have made the corporate changeover to the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act . Recognizing that many of these corporations are inactive, that still leaves thousands of corporations to continue by the October 17, 2014 deadline.

 

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Ethics and business conduct

The ethical standards of a company are driven from the top. The ethics policy should be recommended by the president, ratified by the board and rolled out to the company with appropriate explanations and training. Implementing and consistently following a top-down ethics policy—with input from all levels—will help employees, customers, stakeholders and others who interact with the company to understand and relate to the company’s intentions.

 

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Is the proposed ‘cyberbullying legislation’ the real deal?

On November 20, 2013, Bill C-13 received first reading before the House of Commons. The media touted Bill C-13 as the new “Cyberbullying Legislation”. However, assuming Bill C-13 receives royal assent, how effective will be it be in combating cyberbullying?

 

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Criminal record checks available free to not-for-profit organizations, starting November 30

Starting November 30, 2013, British Columbia’s government will waive the $20 criminal record check fee for not-for-profit organizations that participate in a program that also offers free expert advice. Under BC law, employers in the volunteer and not-for-profit sector must obtain criminal record checks for job and volunteer candidates if they will work with children or vulnerable adults. The province’s criminal record check program aims to alleviate the financial burden associated with the law.

 

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Indian experiment would have interesting implications in Canada

One of the advantages of being part of the commonwealth is that we share commonalities in methods of taxation and governance with a variety of different countries. So when one of these countries experiments with a different way of doing things we should examine the attempt for lessons which can be learned here. So it is with great interest that we note a recent attempt by India to mandate gifts back to the community in the name of corporate social responsibility.

 

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How do I ensure accountability for IT systems?

One of the key elements needed to ensure accountability is reporting the right statistics and metrics. Each user department is responsible for ensuring that its information technology needs are addressed, and the IT department is responsible for providing overall cost-effectiveness, quality and coordination. The IT department can play its role by ensuring that IT metrics are captured and disseminated. User departments and the IT department must both be involved; neither may be permitted to abdicate its responsibilities.

 

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Five-year commercial restrictive covenant upheld

Non-competition and non-solicitation agreements are fairly common in employment contracts, but courts also commonly find them to be unenforceable due to unreasonable or unclear restrictions. When parties negotiate a restrictive covenant in the context of a transfer of a business, however, the rules are different, even where the seller of the business agrees to work for the buyer. The Supreme Court of Canada recently dealt with a case like this.

 

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Credit-proofing charity assets

Most charities and not-for-profit organizations are incorporated as non share capital corporations. These corporations are considered separate legal entities from their members or directors. This ‘separateness’ protects the members (and to a large extent directors) from being personally liable in the event the organization finds itself liable for damages as a result of a court finding.

 

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Can an employee request access to their personnel and payroll files?

In Canada, employees have the right to access information in their personnel and payroll files, provided that it does not interfere with another employee’s privacy rights.

 

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Online services for federal not-for-profit corporations

Corporations Canada has introduced a number of new online services for federal corporations, including those incorporated under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act. Not-for-profit organizations may…

 

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Are you ready for the anti-spam legislation? Part 1

Spam emails—everyone receives them, no one particularly likes them. Some of us delete them. Some of us simply ignore them. But, are they such a problem that requires all Canadian businesses, big or small, to overhaul how they communicate with their customers and potential customers?—You be the judge.

 

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