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Inside Internal Controls

News and discussion on implementing risk management

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Fraud and Corruption

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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Canada publishes a somewhat consolidated economic sanctions list

On October 13, 2017, Global Affairs Canada published the country’s first consolidated list of blacklisted individuals and entities under the Special Economic Measures Act (“SEMA”), known as the “Consolidated SEMA Sanctions List”. The Consolidated SEMA Sanctions List is intended to provide a single accessible website for members of the public to search for individuals and entities listed under SEMA sanctions regulations.

 

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Bill 141 – Proposed amendments to the Act respecting the Autorité des marchés financiers with regard to whistleblowing

Following the example of the Ontario Securities Commission, the Authority implemented a whistleblower program in June 2016. Contrary to Ontario, Quebec’s program does not give financial awards to whistleblowers, but it does guarantee a framework that ensures confidentiality and protects whistleblowers against reprisals. However, no legislative amendment guaranteeing these protections has been introduced until now.

 

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Ontario Court of Appeal breathes some life into anti-corruption pursuits

The Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision in this case injects new life into anti-corruption pursuits under the CFPOA and is a reminder that individuals may be personally liable for illegal conduct undertaken for a company’s benefit.

 

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Estonian blockchain-based ID card security flaw raises issues about identity

On August 30, 2017, an international team of security researchers notified the Estonian government of a security vulnerability affecting the digital use of Estonian ID cards issued to around half of the Estonian population. Affecting 750,000 ID cards issued to a population of 1.3 million, the Estonian Information System Authority (RIA) has taken measures to restrict some of the ID card’s security features until a permanent solution is found.

 

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The root compliance problem: Shadow process

Sometimes I revisit my compliance roots in the world of Sarbanes-Oxley – a place much more concerned with financial reporting than corporate ethics and culture, I know. Yet lessons from one group that can help the other still abound.

 

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Department of Finance releases consultation paper on new retail payments oversight framework

On July 7, 2017, the Department of Finance issued the consultation paper “A New Retail Payments Oversight Framework” (the “Consultation Paper”) proposing a federal oversight framework for retail payments. Comments on the Consultation Paper are due October 6, 2017.

 

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What do audit committees think about risk and audit?

I am encouraged by the latest KPMG report, their 2017 Global Audit Committee Pulse Survey. I am encouraged because KPMG appears to be asking the right questions and getting intelligent answers.

 

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The future of risk management

The Institute of Risk Management has a great feature where they have asked people around the world, including a number of luminaries, about the future of risk management.

 

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Canada begins NAFTA consultations

These NAFTA consultations offer a significant opportunity for companies to have input on the primary drivers of their access to Canadian, US and Mexican markets. With the EU-Canada CETA coming into force in the coming months, Canada will be in the unique position of having preferential trading and investment relationships with the world’s two largest economies.

 

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Budget 2017 focus on anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing

Given recent issues, it is no wonder that anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing (AML/ATF) received significant attention in this year’s federal budget (“Budget 2017”). Organizations can expect changes to the AML/ATF regime, and should monitor developments in this area.

 

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The Canadian real estate market: Affordability and money laundering

Although Canada has a robust anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing regime, there is much room for improvement. Real estate may be an easy way for criminals to launder money. According to Transparency International, this is a major problem in several countries, including Canada. A recent report looks at the main problems related to real estate and money laundering in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States. It concludes that current rules and practices are inadequate to mitigate the risks and detect money laundering in the real estate sector.

 

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Former employee steals personal information to purchase smart phones

The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta has required a payment processing organization to notify individuals pursuant to section 37.1 of the province’s Personal Information Protection Act because there was a real risk of significant harm to those individuals affected by an incident that involved unauthorized access and theft of information of 60 Alberta residents.

 

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Website operator jailed for distributing copyright infringing copies of musical works: R v Evans

Is operating a website that provides links to torrent websites which facilitates unauthorized downloading of musical works a criminal offence? If so, can the operator of such sites expect jail time as punishment for this crime? In a recent decision of the English and Wales Court of Appeal, the accused, Mr Evans, was convicted of two offences of distributing infringing copies of musical works and was sentenced to 12 months in prison for these crimes.

 

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Real answers to common questions on cybersecurity

Every day there is something in the news about organizations generally of all different sizes that have been breached and have had to deal with the impact of the loss, compromise or destruction of data. Making key decision-makers aware of the general threat landscape is helpful, but more helpful is making them aware of the threat landscape specific to your organization.

 

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