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Inside Internal Controls

News and discussion on implementing risk management

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Corporate Governance

Corporate Human Rights 2017 Benchmark shows companies at relatively early stage in implementing UN Guiding Principles on Human Rights

The Benchmark calls on businesses to implement corporate responsibility to respect human rights under the UN Guiding Principles, and to study the 2017 Benchmark report to see where improvements can be made.

 

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SEC awards whistleblower reduced amount citing whistleblower culpability

The February 28, 2017 order emphasized that the reduced award was a result of the whistleblower’s culpability in connection with the securities law violations and the whistleblower’s delay in reporting the violation to the SEC.

 

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How to go beyond the words to craft smarter policies

All of these tips seek to offer ways to make policies and procedures better, but the most important tip is that policies and procedures should not be managed in a vacuum. They are an important element of an effective compliance program without regard to what compliance guidance your organization follows. Ignoring policies can negatively impact compliance conduct, training, monitoring and auditing, investigations – and most importantly and ultimately – the reputation of an organization.

 

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Ontario’s proposed changes to employment and labour laws could still impact franchising

The Ontario government has responded with surprising speed to the Final Report from the Changing Workplaces Review (the Final Report) by introducing Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 on June 1, only eight days after the release of the Final Report on May 23, 2017. Bill 148 is intended to implement certain recommendations made in the Final Report. In a positive development for franchisors and franchisees, Bill 148 does not include measures to adopt the more drastic recommendations in the Final Report that were specifically directed at franchise systems.

 

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Canada’s proposed Cannabis Act: A summary

Canadians have been anticipating the legalization of cannabis since it formed part of the Liberal Party of Canada platform in the 2015 federal election campaign. On Thursday, April 13, 2017, the Government of Canada made a significant step towards enacting the platform promise when it tabled draft legislation—the Cannabis Act (the “Act”). The Act overhauls Canadian criminal legislation pertaining to the sale of cannabis and sets out a legal framework for its production, distribution and possession. The Government has indicated that it intends for the Act to come into force before July 2018.

 

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Canadian government suspends CASL private right of action

The Canadian federal government has announced that it has suspended the coming into force of the private right of action under Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL), originally scheduled to come into force on July 1, 2017.

 

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Are your internal auditors present?

The audit plan should reflect reality, not ivory tower beliefs. How confident are you that your audit plan addresses the risks as they appear in the front lines? Is that acceptable? If not, what are you doing about it?

 

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On the road to legalization: Highlights of Canada’s proposed Cannabis Act

On April 13, 2017, the Government of Canada introduced Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts (the Cannabis Act). Consistent with the Liberal Party of Canada’s 2015 election promise, the Government of Canada believes that the Cannabis Act will “create a strict legal framework for controlling the production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis in Canada.”

 

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CASL’s soon-to-be-enacted private right of action brings risk of class proceedings

On July 1, 2017, the private right of action under Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) will come into force.

 

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The state of the internal audit profession

I don’t believe internal audit is “losing prestige”. My belief is that internal audit can and should do more to deliver the value that our stakeholders need. Unfortunately, internal audit at many if not most organizations does not have a lot of prestige and the argument should be about increasing rather than losing it.

 

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Federal Court of Appeal provides much-needed clarity on the “obvious to try” test and meaning of “inventive concept”

The Federal Court of Appeal has now provided much-needed clarity and guidance on two critical points in Canadian patent law: the meaning of “inventive concept” and the use of the “obvious to try” test in the obviousness analysis.

 

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Don’t outsmart yourself: AI and compliance

I’m a big fan of artificial intelligence. The older I get, the more I appreciate that real intelligence needs all the help it can get. Corporate ethics and compliance officers, however, need to pause before betting big on AI as a solution to all our needs.

 

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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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Plan administrators cannot “undo” negligent representation

It is well established from the case law that a pension plan administrator may be susceptible to legal claims where inaccurate or unclear information has been communicated to plan beneficiaries.

 

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The current state of risk oversight: Useful or useless?

All the surveys, including this one, report that executives do not believe risk management practices at their organization are making a significant contribution to the development and execution of their strategies.

 

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