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Inside Internal Controls

News and discussion on implementing risk management

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2017

Federal government introduces new amendments to the Canada Labour Code to address workplace violence and harassment

The Federal Government has recently introduced Bill C-65, An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code (harassment and violence), the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act and the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1, which provides for significant changes in how federally-regulated workplaces must address workplace violence and harassment. Bill C-65 follows a year-long public consultation commissioned by the Ministry of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour that concluded that harassment and violence in workplaces is underreported and not dealt with effectively when reported.

 

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Canadian taxation of cryptocurrency … so far

Cryptocurrency is digital “money” that utilizes encryption techniques to regulate the issuance of units and verify their transfer. Cryptocurrency operates without the participation of a central bank or other government agency.

 

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Ontario government revamps Construction Lien Act: What you need to know about prompt payment, mandatory adjudication, and more

On May 31, 2017, the Ontario government introduced Bill 142 [PDF] (the Bill) that, if passed, would significantly amend the Construction Lien Act to create a prompt payment regime, require the mandatory adjudication of certain construction disputes, and implement various additional amendments to modernize the Act.

 

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Are we doing enough about behavior?

I have written about culture as having many facets. Auditing culture is not just about ethics, or risk-taking. It’s about behavior and what drives it. Are we, as individuals (especially when we are in a position of authority, such as any member of internal audit) doing enough?

 

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CETA gets royal assent – what brand owners and users need to know

On May 16, 2017, Bill C-30, Canada’s legislation to implement the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), a free trade agreement between Canada and the European Union, received royal assent.

 

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TPP-11 reach agreement on “core elements” of a deal

Since the withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership within three days of President Trump’s inauguration, which many thought would result in a fatal blow to the deal, negotiators from the remaining TPP-11 have been quietly meeting to revive the agreement.

 

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Defamation and reference checks

Reference checks can put former employers in an awkward position. Employers want to tell the truth but may be concerned about the potential legal consequences of providing a bad reference. However, a recent case out of Ontario suggests that employers should not be afraid to tell the truth when asked to provide a reference for a former employee.

 

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It’s giving season: Tax credits for charitable donations vs. political contributions

With the holiday season upon us, many Canadians are turning their minds to both good-will and the end of the tax year. The next time you reach for your wallet to make a donation or contribution, think back on this summary of the differences between the two and reflect on what the tax implications will be.

 

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Counting down to December 31, 2017 – Don’t forget about your AODA compliance report

A quick reminder that pursuant to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (Ontario), Ontario private sector businesses with twenty or more employees are required to file an AODA compliance report every three years. The next deadline is fast approaching – December 31, 2017.

 

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Ontario Court of Appeal confirms broad scope of Crown copyright

In order to protect their ownership of copyright, organisations whose works might be published by the government should obtain any necessary assignments or waivers, since the Crown copyright regime does not apply if there is a private arrangement with the work’s author.

 

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COSO ERM explains the flaw in risk appetite statements

Devotion to remaining within risk appetite (if you can even express one that will proactively guide decision-makers) is likely to make you risk averse – and focusing on avoiding harm is the path to avoiding success.

 

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Updated: Nova Scotia passes new cyber-bullying legislation

On October 5, 2017, the Nova Scotia Legislature introduced Bill No. 27, the Intimate Images and Cyber-protection Act. The Act comes as Nova Scotia’s previous cyber-bullying legislation, the Cyber-safety Act, was struck down in 2015 by the Nova Scotia Supreme Court on constitutional challenge.

 

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Mitigate the risks associated with IT systems acquisition

Any organization which acquires IT systems must do so carefully. Among other reasons, systems may be costly, they may be critical to business operations, and they may create significant risks (for example a risk of security breaches). The following suggestions will help to mitigate some of the risks associated with IT systems acquisition:

 

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Facilitation payments now illegal under Canada’s foreign corruption law

On October 31, 2017, the federal government brought into force a pending amendment to the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act likely to have a significant impact on many Canadian firms operating abroad. Starting on October 31, so-called “facilitation payments” – payments to low-level government officials to expedite or secure the performance of an act of a routine nature – will be illegal.

 

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Internal controls for gift giving this holiday season

Many companies effectively minimize the risk of inappropriate gifts through stringent pre-approval requirements because a sufficiently robust and enforced pre-approval policy can reduce the number of gifts simply because of the headache of getting the pre-approval. This has the added benefit of ensuring enforcement of internal controls, largely because of the reduced volume of gifts being included in expense reports.

 

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