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News and discussion on implementing risk management

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Finance and Accounting

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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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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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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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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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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