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Inside Internal Controls

News and discussion on implementing risk management

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Leadership and Management

Alberta Court of Appeal reaffirms importance of considering factual matrix in contractual interpretation

The rules of contractual interpretation have evolved significantly in the last several years in Canada. At one time, the circumstances surrounding the preparation of a contract were rarely considered by the courts; the courts preferred to look within the “four walls” of the contract to interpret ambiguous phrases or to resolve uncertainties. More recently, however, the courts have begun to consider all of the circumstances involved in the drafting of the contract in order to give meaning to it and to ensure that the intention of the parties is carried out.

 

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Name is psychological safety but my friends call me culture

psychological safety

Psychological safety refers to the climate in which people operate, think and speak. A psychologically safe climate is one in which people feel comfortable being themselves and expressing themselves without the fear of retribution. This concept is directly applicable to the group dynamics of teams trying to spitball the next big thing; however, when we expand this view to our largest corporate group, the employee base, we start to see a lot of overlap with a true speak-up culture.

 

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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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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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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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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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Is it about managing risk?

Managing risk absent the context of your objectives leads you to manage what may be irrelevant and miss what may be crucial.

 

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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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What a CEO needs to hear to invest more in compliance – strategy

Investment decisions are strategic. They are based on a business case and cost/benefit analysis. Expense decisions are more tactical, and are often associated with things an organization must do to keep running – like meet a regulatory requirement so they can check the box.

 

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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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Getting risk management right

In this commentary on a recent article by Doug Anderson, an advisor on behalf of the IIA on the COSO ERM update project, examples are provided on getting risk management right.

 

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High-profile sexual harassment claims show a toxic culture can be a product defect

The rapid demise of the Weinstein Co., once one of the most successful movie studios in Hollywood, should have every CEO wondering: What skeletons does my organization have in the closet? And how could they destroy the value of my company’s brands, or the company itself?

 

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Should you adopt the updated COSO ERM Framework? My assessment

It has been 13 years since the original COSO ERM Framework and eight years since ISO 31000:2009 was published. The updated COSO ERM Framework was an opportunity for COSO to “leap forward”. But did it?

 

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Indecent proposal? Whether and how to ask existing employees to sign new employment contracts

Asking existing employees to sign new employment contracts can be a sensitive topic. Employees will undoubtedly wonder why they are being asked to do so. Many will quite rightly assume that the employer’s main motive for having new contracts be signed is to protect the employer – not the employee. Some will sign without issue, while others will refuse to do so.

 

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Employee misconduct and social media

As technology continues to blur the line between personal and professional life, employers increasingly find themselves dealing with the impact of social media on the employment relationship.

 

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